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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
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May 12, 1998


I'm HIV+ since '95 in April of 96 I was diagnosed. I began AZT and Epivir Jan 30,97 T-Cells were 784, VL 8000. After 3mos treatment I began having severe headaches to the point of vomiting. ER found me to be anemic, HB at 4.1 and transfused 2 units of blood,a CT Scan, and Spinal Tap. I got better. My meds were changed to Zerit and Epivir in Jun 97. I've had a few breaks partly because I'm afraid of anemia again. But I've been taking my meds religously now for 3 months non stop. I feel dizzy, light headache, armpit pain,wobbly legs,rapid heatbeat, neausa, etc. I've told my doctor and I'm having more tests. If this medicine is still making me feel this way, what else can I take? Zerit and AZT are the main drugs it seems.

Response from Mr. Molaghan


Although Zerit and Epivir are less likely to cause anemia than AZT, it can still occur. Some of the symptoms you've mentioned are consistent with anemia, but the only way to determine if you are anemic, is to repeat a complete blood count (CBC). If you are anemic once again, it is important that you and your physician discuss the potential cause of the anemia. If the anemia is drug induced, you might be a candidate for Procrit, if your endogenous Epo level is less than 500. The most important issue is for your physician to identify the reason you are currently having such unpleasant symptoms. There are other combination medications that can be used to treat your HIV infection. If you need additional information on antiretroviral options, you might visit The Body's Treatment Forum. Good luck.

Anemia that does not resolve associated with shorter survival

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