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does smoking marijuana ?
Jan 29, 2004

I am a 31 yr old female, I tested positive in 1995 during routine pregnancy tests. Ive just recently been put back on meds, I was off meds for almost 2 years, I have recently been noticing wasting particularly on my arms and legs. I hardly have an appetite while on meds, Iam 5'3 and I weigh between 115 & 118, been the same weight for the last 5 years.My Tcells were at 354 and my viral load was 50,000 when I was put back on a new regimen My qustion is about smoking marijuana and the possible effects this may have on my health or med regimen the problem is I smoke pot everyday and I eat alot better, but I am worried that this may affet my health in some way in the long run. Do you have any information you can share regarding this matter. Is smoking pot harmful with the HIV therapies?

Thank you for taking your time to answer all our questions. Sincerely, mimi

Response from Dr. Moyle

Dera Mimi, there are no interactions between marijuana and HIV meds. As you rightly say, many people report increased appetite after smoking marijuana, typically a desire for fatty 'junk' food.(As an aside, one French company is trying to develop a cannabinoid receptor blocker as a treatment for obesity; it causes people to eat less but also eat more healthy food!). Smoking of any sort is potentially harmful to you in terms of long term considerations of lung and heart disease. Long term regular marijuana use is clearly associated with mental illness and possibly more subtle psychological changes. Importantly, it may affect your ability to reliably take your HIV meds. The smoke is also potentially harmful to you child, who will both get the effects of smoke and accumulate some marijuana in their body with repeated environmental exposures. There are marijuana derivatives available via prescription which can help appetite. However, you say you are 'developing wasting' yet you weight is stable for 5 years. If so what do you see to be wasting? I suggest stop the pot and see your doctor and dietitian to see how you can manage your weight better without breaking the law, and potentially harming yourself or your child. regards Graeme Moyle

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