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What to change

Feb 5, 2002

Started treatment over 1 year ago, on combiver/effavereinz am undetectable, started to get bigger around tum so started to diet etc, and having vivid dreams and difficulty with depression want to change Sustiver, what would be reccomended that perhaps would not cause any side effects and what would the dosage be. Many thanks for all your help annd advice.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

In patients who have undesirable side effects of efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin) AND have undetectable viral loads, we typically switch from efavirenz to nevirapine. This drug switch should be roughly equivalent with regard to potency and pill count; particularly if the viral load is undetectable.

Some have noted that there is a decrease in cholesterol after switching; there should be an improvement in the efavirenz-related neurological side effects too.

Typical dosing of nevirapine (Viramune) is 200 mg once daily for the first two weeks, followed by twice daily dosing. We monitor liver function tests and viral loads after this switch.

As for increase in your tum (-- belly)- the question is- is this related to increased appetite causing generalized wieght gain or if related to HIV lipodystrophy. Treatment switches would not be expected to improve either condition, but the later would certainly deserve some evaluation by your medical care provider.

Hope this is helpful, BY

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