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what therapy after sustiva intolerance ?

Feb 8, 2000

12 years after hiv infection,having experienced during the AZT era "pcp pneumonia,cmv retinitis kaposi sarcoma and 5(!)CD4", I rebirthed to full life and no symptoms with the combo therapy. After 4 years with crixivan/videx/zerit with 400/500 CD4 and viral load dropped from >200.000 copies to 1500/2000, 1 month ago my physician decided to change my therapy into sustiva/crixivan/epivir. I was starting to recover from cerebral side effects of sustiva when I experienced a severe skin rush few days ago clearly related to efavirenz. My doc said to stop all drugs for few days and wait for a NEW therapy without any resistance test or other. What do you think?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Depending on the experience of the treating physician, a resistance test here may not be necessary. If you wait for a month off therapy, a resistance test will not be useful. It will only be useful when it is applied during treatment and there is drug pressure on the virus. It is possible you have developed some resistance to crixivan, but how much depends on how many mutations have developed. This could impact any subsequent use of protease inhibitors, because of potential cross-resistance. Your sustiva experience was relatively brief and nevirapine could be tried here. I would not rule out ddI or d4T either. The likelihood of developing resistance is very low, particularly since you have not had any AZT.


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