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lexiva and combivir

Oct 24, 2004

My doctor has prescribed lexiva and combivir, twice daily, as my initial treatment. Is this a 'normal' first treatment option? What side effects should I be concerned with?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Lexiva (fosamprenavir) is one of the newest protease inhibitors to be approved. The drug was studied in treatment naive persons mostly in combination with abacavir and 3TC (in constrast to AZT/3TC, or Combivir), but in this combination showed very good potency and tolerability.

I tend to favor the use of first-line, ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitors, such as ritonavir-boosted fosamprenavir, because boosting appears to enhance potency (at least as measured by the risk of developing drug resistance) and has little or limited consequences in tolerability.

As a twice daily regimen, the AZT part of Combivir can be associated with fatigue, headaches and nausea (to name the most common side effects); 3TC is generally very well tolerated; fosamprenavir can cause a mild rash (that rarely causes treatment stoppage) and mild stomach upset.

The essential thing with any first treatment regimen is to make sure to not miss doses and to communicate any concerns about the medications or side effects to your healthcare provider.

Good luck, thanks for reading. Keep me and our readers informed as to your progress. BY

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