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mitochrondrial toxicity
Mar 1, 2000

they think my friend Phyllis has mitochrondrial toxicity. we are having trouble finding out ANY information on the infection. she is a long term survivor of hiv and has been on the whole retroviral and protease merry-go-round. her docs put her on a drug holiday about a month ago. they seem to be less forthcoming about what this latest infection is exactly and what she can expect as far as prognosis. we have that idea that is is not a good thing as far as being able to treat it. one doc mentioned something about this usually only happening in dead patients...??? can you PLEASE help us out here?

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Mitochondria are the energy-producing parts of cells and are crucially important. In the past damage to the mitochondria in muscle tissue leading to weakness was linked to AZT use. More recently, some investigators think that other HIV drugs (especially d4T) may also damage mitochondria in certain tissues. No one knows for sure, and there is no known treatment for it other than stopping the drug(s) that the doctor suspects may be the culprit(s). This kind of damage (toxicity) certainly happens to people who are alive. The long-term outcome of this problem is not yet known.


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