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Is Viracept ok to take in the US?
Oct 14, 2007

My husband has been HIV positive since 1997. He is still on the same combination of medications which is essentially Viracept and Combivir. When he was first diagnosed, his CD4 count was 156 and his viral load was over 233,000 copies. His CD4 count has been over 1200 and his viral load is undetectable.

He received an email from CATIE news about a carcinogen EMS in Viracept. Roche has pulled their version of Viracept in Europe. We have read the letter on the Pfizer website and have tried to get answers about him continuing on it with no luck.

He has not wanted to change medications since it has been so successful. He does have some side effects but has tolerated them. He is very compliant in taking his medications. Is he ok to continue on Viracept? Has he been exposed to carcinogens and is there anything he should be doing? Please answer ASAP as this is causing him a lot of stress!

Thank you

Response from Dr. Pierone

The current recommendation is that pregnant women and children change from Viracept to an alternative agent because the level of carcinogen present in Viracept is more dangerous in this setting. So based on what we know so far it would be ok for him to continue Viracept.

But is this the best choice? I don't think so. There have been major advances in therapy over the last 10 years and this regimen was tired and dated even before the discovery of carcinogens in Viracept. He should discuss some of the newer and better options with his clinician.

Thanks for posting and good luck!

stopped drugs
progressing long term non-progressor: when to start treatment?

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