Apr 9, 2006
I found out I had HIV 3 months ago. I had a CD4 count of 650 and a viral load of 56,000. My doctor put me on Sustiva/Truvada immediately. Within a month my CD4 was at 800 and my viral load 0 but continued to take the meds for two more months. At the third month I asked to switch from Sustiva because I hated the side effects so he put me on Truvada/Viramune with three more months to go of treatment. After being on Viramune for a week I found out how bad this medication is on your liver and don't want to risk it. Do you have suggestions for a new combo treatment that I can ask my doctor about? And do I really need to be on this for three more months??? Thank you for your time-Stephen
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post.
You are among patients who have persistent side effects from efavirenz (Sustiva, Strocrin).
I'd share your concerns about starting on nevirapine (Viramune)-- liver toxicity is indeed an issue for patients like you who start with higher CD4s (women with counts greater than 250, men greater than 400).
If your counts were lower, I don't think that this would be as much of an concern; I'd consider a switch to a boosted PI (lopinavir, fosamprenavir or atazanavir) as an alternative to nevirapine. Which PI to use would depend on your particular needs for diet restriction, pill count, side effect aversion among others).
Good luck, BY
Drug Failure. Over 40.000 desperate patients.
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