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Twice a day? Exactly 12 hrs?

Feb 6, 2005

Don: I try to take Fuzeon every 12 hrs. but at times I take it a few hours later that day before going to bed. What are the findings on not adhering to -every- 12 hrs? I think the literature indicates twice a day. Would resistance eventually develop if not adhering to -every- 12 hrs? The nurses at Fuzeon Support do not want to commit to an answer on this one. Thanks.

Response from Mr. Kurtyka

In the ideal world, we want everyone to take their medication at precise times to maintain adequate drug levels within the body. With most antiretroviral agents for HIV treatment, this means every 12 hours.

In the real world, few people can maintain a strict 12 hour schedule. Usually there's an acceptable window of 1-2 hours before and after the 12 hour ideal. I wouldn't worry if you were within this "window." If you're consistently taking the evening dose 3+ hours later than the optimal 12 hour time, I'd try to improve it. The whole idea is to have adequate drug levels all the time. If you're late with doses and your drug levels fall low enough, HIV can replicate and this is when resistance can develop. If you keep those drug levels high all the time, you keep replication suppressed, and resistance is not likely to develop.

What can you do? Consider changing the timing of your morning dose so it's about 12 hours before the time in the evening that you usually end up injecting. Or, set an alarm in the evening to remind you to take the evening dose at the 'right' time. One or two late doses here or there probably won't hurt, but when it becomes a pattern, you set yourself up for the development of resistance.

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