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Viread without food
Oct 18, 2003

I am taking viramune, abc, and viread. I take the first two 2x a day without food, and viread with food at dinner time. Now I am hearing that you no longer have to take viread with food. Is this true? If so, I could now take my viread with my evening pills. Thanks

Response from Dr. Cohen

Yup - it is true. The FDA reviewed the data supplied by the company who makes Viread and they have concluded that we can absorb this drug well enough whether taken with food or without food that the official recommendation is that the drug is successful either way.

But I am a bit confused by your current schedule. Since you can take the Viread, abacavir (abc) and Viramune with or without food. So you could just take all three with dinner the same time you're now taking only your Viread. Or you can take it some other time of the day, taking all three on an empty stomach. But either is fine and works just the same.

Finally - if you're looking to simplify another option can be to consider taking all of these once a day all at the same time, with or without food. But then here's a bit of recent controversy. The issue is this. All three have info supporting that they're successful as once a day meds but there are some cautions. For example in one recent large study there were about 10% more people who developed liver function test abnormalities when taking viramune once a day versus twice a day. It is hard to know if that matters to you since you tolerate it taken twice a day but that's one controversy. Second is that one recent study combining abacavir once a day with viread once a day didn't work out so well. And one reason that might explain the results is some odd interaction with these two drugs that we don't know about yet. So until that's more settled it is safer to take the abacavir twice a day while taking viread. This may not be necessary but it is one way to stay cautious.

So while this entire combo could be once a day it might be safer to do what you are now doing with the added convenience of the viread/food story above.

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