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Diarrhea from Kaletra, drug holiday?

Dec 16, 2007

Hello. Early this year I started taking ARVs. My first treatment was Combivir + Sustiva, but I developed a horrible rash due to the Sustiva that covered almost my entire body. My doctor then changed me to Combivir + Kaletra. I have tried to manage it for the last six months, but the diarrhea has gotten unbearable, at the point that I have no social life whatsoever. What other treatment options shall I discuss with my doctor in my next visit? Could I take a so-called "Drug Holiday" until Reyataz becomes available where I live (central america), middle of 2008? My CD4 are in the 400's and VL -50. Thanks for the suggestions.

Response from Dr. Pierone

As a general rule we try to 'do no harm' with our medical treatments. Clearly the side effects you are experiencing have reduced your quality of life and this situation is not sustainable, nor should it be.

Reyataz is typically better tolerated than Kaletra and chances are excellent that you can safely go off medications for 6 months until this medication becomes available to you.

Let us know what you decide to do and best of luck!

Hair loss & Kaletra
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