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Starting Meds
Dec 20, 2002

While be HIV+ and not on any currect HIV meds, can we go on weight loss medications. Such as phentermine or meridian?

Response from Dr. Wohl


I looked at the package inserts for phentermine (Adipex-P, Fastin, Ionamin) and Sibutramine (Meridia) and had a hard time finding information about how these drugs might interact with HIV medications. My major concern would be that certain HIV treatments could lead to higher than desired levels of these obesity drugs causing serious harm.

I would first get in to care with a good HIV specialist. If weight loss is determined to be a priority and exercise and dieting continues to fail, I would ask your clinician to work with you and possibly an obesity expert to consider options given your weight, previous attempts at weight loss, T-cell counts, viral loads, medications, and any other illnesses (diabetes, hypertension) that may impact use of these diet drugs. DW

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