Aug 13, 2004
I visit my doc next week and I want to know the risks of switching meds. Infected last year and went on meds about 4 months later (Combivir & Sustiva after negative resistance screen). I've been on meds for about 10 mos. with excellent results (CD4+ 750 and VL non-detect). My nausea & IRC during the first month was bad but tolerable. I am 100% med compliant and live a healthy lifestyle. The meds get me tired and headachy in the afternoon - tolerable but almost always there (AZT? no anemia on tests). Also a bit of tummy upset about an hour after dosing; also tolerable. I like being on meds for viral control and I am willing to tolerate some discomfort. Would I be wise to ask about some of the alternative 1/day combos that have recently become available? When I have brought this up before, my doc has said he like the performance data on my current meds and it is somewhat the gold standard. 1) Do I risk losing AZT for future use if I switch it out now? 2) Will I have a new transition and side effect profile from a new drug.
Response from Dr. Lee
I think it is always good to learn what you can about treatment options. Sure it is a good idea to talk with your doc about your med choices. It is great you are successfully controlling with your current meds, but you do not have a great risk of resistance to the meds you are on if you switch on a successful regimen. (If your virus in non-detectable, it will probably contine non-detectable with most acceptable combinations of treatment.)
It is hard to recommend changing a well performing regimen due to the unkowns. For example, there very well may be "new transition and side effect profiles". However, it may be nice to switch to a simpler regimen. Check with your doc.
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