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Dr Wohl, Bernard again
Jun 15, 2006

Dr Wohl, Thank you for your response to me about should I start meds & will this Regimen work? I went to my Dr and we decided to wait 3 more months to see if I should start the meds. (Reminder cd4 count 378 and Viral Load 12629). I asked about a simpler regimen, He wants to start me on 4 Invirase, 1 Norvir, 1 Epzicom. You recomended Tenofovir+FTC+Efavirenz. Can you tell me what those drugs are in names? I know efaviranz is Sustiva, but don't know the rest. I know this question may sound weird, but, I really don't know the meds. I guess I never paid attention to them because they are changing and I kinda didn't want to think about them yet. Also, if I start Sustiva, I read that it may make me test positive for THC(POT). I work for an airline and get random drug tested all the time. How would I explain that, I can't loose my job and insurance. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Bernard

Response from Dr. Wohl

Hi Bernard,

I think the issue is that there are simpler regimens that are actually included (for good reason) in guidelines as first line treatment. Invirase + Norvir + Epzicom is not what the overwhelming majority of HIV experts would recommend as initial therapy given the pill count, potential adverse effects and the available alternatives.

Tenofovir+FTC now come in a single pill called Truvada. Now get this, Truvada and Sustiva will any day now be approved in the US as a single pill (three meds in one) taken before bed. This IS a regimen listed as 'preferred' in the US guidelines.

Epizcom is a good grug but carried a 5-10% hypersensitivity reaction (like an allergy) that is a pain in the neck to deal with.

Sustiva will not trip up newer generation drug tests. IF this is an issue, be prepared with a letter from your doc stating you are on a medication that can cause a false positive for THC and that any positive should be followed up with newer versions of the drug test.

Lastly, B, you got to get educated. There are great resources to learn about the current meds including this site and Project Inform and others that can be found in our links.

DW



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