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Forgetfullness as a side effect?

May 5, 2005

Can HIV drug regimines make a person forgettful? I have had many episodes of forgetfulness--forgetting how to get to my house, being at work and forgetting a password amd how to run a machine, driving somewhere and not remembering why I am in the car, etc. I am only 24 so it's not an age thing, and I can't remember if it started with my meds or not.

Response from Dr. Pierone

I do think that HIV medications can occasionally make people forgetful. I say this based on anecdotal observations in my medical practice. I have had patients mention this problem to me and report that their memory improved after they stopped HIV medications. The most common medications have been Sustiva and Viramune. Of course, this is not high science, just a few observations that might (or might not) be meaningful.

There are other reasons for forgetfulness and it is a common complaint in persons living with HIV. A partial list of other potential causes include depression, sleep deprivation, alcohol overuse, certain medications (Valium, Xanax), and attention deficit disorder. You should discuss this problem with your doctor and see what ideas come up. Thanks for posting and best of luck.

Starting treatment or wait?
sustiva, viread and emtriva

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