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When to start Atripla?
Dec 7, 2008

I was diagnosed in 2005 with 9,000 VL and 800 CD4. Now I'm at 68,000 VL and 310 or 13% CD4 count. My doc recommended to start med which would be Atripla. Is there one dosage for all for Atripla? Since there's different counts by each individual. If yes, why? Since it doesn't make sense to have one formula for all. Karl

Response from Dr. Young


Thanks for your post and questions. First, with a CD4 count count below 350 and a quite low CD4 percentage, I'm in complete agreement that it's time to start treatment.

You're also correct in that there is only one dose for most HIV medications. This is because while adult people differ in their height and weight, the dose is based primarily on the rate of metabolism of the medications. Hence, while you and I might differ in weight, our liver and kidneys are actually pretty similar in their size and drug metabolism.

It's rare exceptions where the dose needs to be modified- often because of things like kidney injury- in such cases, the single fixed-dose combination medications (like Atripla, Truvada or Epzicom) have to be unbundled, so that each component drug is given in an appropriate dose.

I hope this helps. Best of health to you,


Taking ONLY Combiv
Vaccination while on HAART

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