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Side effects of Medication

Feb 18, 2007


I've been HIV+ since 1994. I'm currently taking Viracept, Zerit and Epivir. I have now notice a gathering of fat around my breasts and underarms. Is there any thing I can do to decrease or remove the fat? The fat under my arms fills like a have a small ball there.


Response from Dr. Pierone

Your regimen contains Viracept, which is in the family of protease inhibitors. This class of medications has been most closely associated with lipohypertrophic abnormal fat accumulation, and the upper chest region may be affected by this process. There are also some studies which suggest the use of Zerit along with a protease inhibitor may increase the risk of abnormal fat deposits.

One strategy would be to revamp your regimen with a goal to make it less metabolically toxic. The feasibility of this approach would depend on what other medications you have already been exposed to, but getting of the Viracept and Zerit would be a consideration.

Another potentially useful course of action is diet and exercise, especially if you are overweight to any significant degree. Although it is not yet approved for this indication, human growth hormone may help reduce abdominal fat and other areas of abnormal fat buildup. In some situations though the only was to get rid of the abnormal fat accumulations is through a liposuction procedure. Let us know how things turn out Best of luck!

Starting HIV medication with Sustiva and Combivir
Best trt for KS

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