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Can I Stop?
Aug 18, 2005

I recently asked your experts about the drug combination Truvada/Sustiva which I began taking six days ago. I want to stop this regiment, although I was told that it was good, with a low risk of long-term side effects. The reason is that I'm interested in a clinical trial for a new CCR5 drug where patients have to be treatment naive, or have not been on treatment for more than 7 days. I am also still very frightened of Lipodystrophy. My question is this: can I completely stop treatment at seven days without the risk of developing resistance? Thanks, your service is a life saver.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post and interest in participating in clinical trials.

First off, I'd have to caution you about not messing with something that appears to be working well. Truvada/Sustiva has been shown to be very well tolerated and with very minimal risk of long-term side effects. Lipodystrophy risk doesn't seem significant, though it's also very important to bear in mind that there are other, non-drug-related factors that impact risk.

You should be able to stop Truvada/Sustiva without great risk of developing drug resistance, though this point has not, to my knowledge been well explored scientifically speaking.

If you were my patient, I'd ask you to balance the risk of continuing on your current, state-of-the-art drug regimen with the risks and benefits (largely unknown) of the new CCR5 inhibitor study.

I hope this helps with your decision making, BY

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