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Alternative to Isentress

Apr 25, 2010

I am currently on a regimen of Sustiva and Combivir. My viral load is undetectable and CD4 count is around 600; however, my triglyceride level has been confirmed and has gone through the roof! My doctor has suggested that I switch from Sustiva to Isentress because it will assist with lowering my triglyceride level; but my insurance copay for Isentress is approx 10 times that of Sustiva. What do you suggest, as an alternative to Isentress, that will assist in lowering my triglyceride level?

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thank you, yours is a common problem in which the insurance companies charge a proportion of the total cost as a copay for all "brand" medicines. Of course almost all of the most effective HIV meds are not available as generics so it is a shame that insurance companies take advantage of patients in this way. Be that as it may, an alternative would be to use a medication to target the triglycerides such as gemfibrozil or fenofibrate.

Best, Joe

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