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Re: Returning to Sustiva

Mar 29, 2009

Hi Joseph, Thanks for answering my previous question on Sustiva. I should have made it more explicit though, that I wasn't undetectable at the time of the overdose, as it was my first exposure to meds. In fact my vl was around 14,000 at the time, but declined to ud after 3 weeks. I started my current combo 5 days after the overdose. In light of the detectable vl would it have affected my long term response to the NRTI's that remain in my current combo (TDF snd Combivir)and can I switch back to Sustiva? I'm hoping the short delay is in my favor on this one. Again, thanks and apologies for not being more explicit last time. Best, M.

Response from Dr. McGowan

Dear M.

It is all based on timing. You had a VL of 14,000 prior to initiating therapy and it became undetectable within 3 weeks (the initial overdose + 5 days of no therapy + 2 weeks of TDF/combivir), this would indicate a rapid response to treatment. The most vulnerable time to develop mutations, especially to drugs that only need a single mutation to have high level resistance (such as Sustiva), is when you have a detectable viral load when the medicines are in your body at low levels. So it is possible that K103N may have been selected out, although it sounds like a low risk. Since you have success now, it would probably be best in your circumstance to not re-use Sustiva unless there was a compelling need to retry it. Other once-a-day combos might be fine for you if you did want to change.

Thanks, Joe

200 drop in just 6 months
sulfa allergy and emtriva

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