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Atripla and Lipoatrophy
Nov 29, 2008

hi there Studies now say that this so called safe drug now causes lipoatrophy. IS THIS THE CASE with this med yes or no ?

Response from Dr. DeJesus

Atripla as you know is a combination of 3 different drugs: Emtriva, Viread and Sustiva. In a large study (ACTG 5142) looking at the safety and efficacy of Sustiva versus Kaletra, it was observed that 12% of the patients that were taking Sustiva in combination with Viread and a 3rd drug had some degree of lipoatrophy; the lipoatrophy in those patients appears to be mild as the definition of lipoatrophy used in that study was very strict.

So to answer your question, it appears based on these study findings that a small percentage of patients on Atripla may be at risk for mild lipodystrophic changes. On the other hand, in two other large studies (GS 903 and GS 934) in which patients have been followed for 3 years and more no significant lipodystrophic findings were observed in most patients in the study.

Overall, the data is it not completely clear in this regard. What is clear is that the benefits of initiation of therapy, and the use of something as simple as a single table regimen a day, may trump any potential risk.

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