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Jul 27, 2004

My doctor has indicated that he may switch me off combivar because the last two lab results showed a decrease in my tcell count. they were at 262 and decreased slightly. he said that combivar may be preventing tcells from regenerating as it is a inhibitor. Have you heard of this? i am also on kaletra and have only being on drugs 9 months and my viral load went from 48,000 to zero after just 6 months. I have no side effects from combivar and find it an ok dosage to take. I am also on Septra and he said if tcell count goes above 300 he will take me off this. what are you thoughts ? thanks in advance.

Response from Dr. Lee

AZT may suppress bone marrow production of blood cells to some degree. However, depending on your age, where your tcell count started, etc. it may not be time yet to ditch this effective regimen (evidenced by zero viral load). The absolute CD4 number is not the only measurement to evaluate. The change in CD4% may help you decide if the suppression is significant. For example, if your CD4% has not changed much, it may simply be that your immune system has not "awakened" quite yet. If your CD4% has increased significantly from pre-treatment levels, but the CD4 absolute numbers have not gone up, it may be reflective of suppression of the total lymphocytes by the medicines.

Remember that Septra is also a bone marrow inhibitor. I suggest taking it slow in chosing to change with a successful treatment.

BE well.

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