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Medications reaction to alcohol?
Jan 17, 2004

Hello Doctors: Thank you for all the work that you do! My son is 21 and recently diagnosed with HIV (recently infected). He is on Sustiva and Combivir. His numbers are great 1100 CD4 and Viral load undet.

He recently turned 21 and as any 21 year old has enjoyed being able to have a few drinks with friends. When he has been out and drinking (3-4 drinks) he seems to be sick for 2 days following. Achey, headaches, stomach problems, he rebounds and it is not every week. I am wondering if he should be drinking at all! Of course he feels so good normally and has such a positive outlook about his diagnosis that he tends to forget that he needs to take care of himself. I want him to have a normal life or as near normal as possible, however I know he must have some restrictions. Does drinking affect the potency of the meds? Is there a safe amount that he can drink if he is out with his friends?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post and question.

Your son is certainly on a very potent and generally speaking, extremely well tolerated HIV treatment regimen. Alcohol in moderation should not be a problem and is not thought to directly affect the potency of antiretroviral medications-- so it's ok to drink occasionally and in moderation.

Good luck, BY



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