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Nov 4, 2006

I have jst started to take kaletra and combivir. My cholestrol was 166 before I started. 20 days of treatment it came up to 260. Will it go much higher?

Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your post.

Some patients experience significant increases in their cholesterol when starting on HIV medications, particularly those that contain ritonavir, like lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra). In at least one study, the increases in cholesterol among those receiving lopinavir/ritonavir tends to increase over time-- hence paying attention to yours values will be important.

You've had a pretty big increase in a short period of time-- I'd want to know if the second test was done fasting-- if not, then I'd repeat the test following a 8-12 hour fast.

If this was a fasting test, then discussing management options with your treater is in order-- perhaps diet and exercise modifications will minimize the increase.

It's also relevant to say that the increase in cholesterol is relevant because of your possible risk of cardiovascular disease in the future. As such, working on other modifiable risk factors, like smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes will also result in improvement in your risk.

Hope this helps. BY

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