Why is my doctor recommending Kaletra and Combivir to start?
Aug 31, 2007
hi there. I tested positive 3 weeks ago and just got my intitial blood work results back. My CD4 is 284 and my viral load is 98,000. The doctor thinks i might have been infected for 3-5 years and has asked me to come back in 4 weeks to repeat the tests before starting treatment. He is suggesting Kaletra (2 tabs twice daily) and Combivir (1 tab twice daily). I have 2 questions - is this a good combination regimen ? and why so many tablets per day ? I hear of 1 tablet per day regiments . I am not co infected with anything else, but i do have slightly high cholesterol. Is he suggesting a large dose to try and rapidly increase my CD4 and decrease my V/L ?
Thanks very much
Response from Dr. Pierone
Hello, and thanks for posting.
Kaletra is a protease inhibitor combination of ritonavir and lopinavir and is dosed twice daily. It has a long track record, but has more side effects than the combination of ritonavir (Norvir) and atazanavir (Reyataz) and most experienced HIV doctors would use this instead.
In general, NNRTI-based regimens are more effective than protease inhibitor-based treatment. So Atripla (Viread, Emtriva, and Sustiva in combination) one tablet nightly is hard to beat. I would discuss this option with your doctor and see if he still wants to stick to this outmoded cocktail. If so, let us know why.
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