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Just diagnosed, now treatment
Jan 5, 2009

Hi Dr Young, This is my first time on this site and after reading people's postings, i'm trusting that I'm in the right place. A friend of mine found out about his CD4 status today and have to start on Meds tomorrow (CD4 of 100). Just wanted to check if the combination sounds ok, he'll be on Efavirenz and Lamzid, plus Bactrim. I read mixed responses regarding taking the drugs with or without meals, we've opted he'll take them 30mins or so after a meal, is this ok. Any side effects we should worry about? Candy, South Africa

Response from Dr. Young

Dear Candy,

Thanks for your post from South Africa.

Your friend's regimen is a fine regimen to start with- one somewhat different that what we most commonly use here in the US, but one that remains on our treatment guidelines. The combination of AZT+3TC (Lamzid, Combivir) + efavirenz (Sustiva, Stocrin) has been extensively studied and well established all over the world.

With a CD4 count of 100, your friend definitely needs to be on medications for HIV and the Bactrim to prevent certain serious types of AIDS complications (PCP, Toxoplasmosis).

The combination can be taken without regard to meals, perhaps better not to take immediately after a meal (but even that is optional).

Side effect wise, it would not be uncommon to experience some psychological side effects (like disorientation, vivid dreams or mood issues) in the first few weeks of treatment. These are common side effects of efavirenz (you can read much more about the Sustiva side effects on our forum). The Lamzid can cause nausea and headaches and occasionally vomiting. Important to know is that many patients tolerate medications very well with little or no lasting side effects.

I wish you and your friend the best of health. Please feel free to write me back here at's forums anytime.


varices and hep b and hiv
questions not answered

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