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Is Trizivir okay for treatment naive?

Sep 18, 2002

Hi Dr. Young.

I have a friend who is treatment naive with a VL of 171,000, CD4 419 (17). Her doctor wants to put her on Trizivir but she is afraid that it's too strong and may have substantial side effects. What do you think about Trizivir as a first line therapy? Would you recommend it to treatment naive patients?

Thank you kindly.

God bless.


Response from Dr. Young

Trizivir is a very simple and easy to take combination therapy for HIV. The drug combines three medications (ZDV,3TC, abacavir) into one pill, comprising a regimen that is one pill taken twice daily. In general, the regimen has few or mild side effects (headache, nausea, malaise or fatigue). For a small proportion of persons, an allergic reaction to the abacavir component can occur, requiring a change in this part of the treatment.

There is a lot of data on the efficacy of the regimen, though there is some controversy over the potency of the regimen in persons with viral loads greater than 100,000 (like your friends). In my practice, Trizivir has been used for many treatment naive individuals with excellent results. For those persons with higher viral loads in whom we elect to use Trizivir, I make a special effort to monitor for adherence and the performance of the medications. If viral loads don't acheive undetectable levels after 3 months, I'd consider treatment intensification or change.

Hope this helps, BY

Your guidance please!

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