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May need to switch to Truvada/Isentress

Feb 24, 2012

Doc: Ron here: I started with Atripla but had to stop due to severe rash. Then went to Epzicom/Isentress. My HLA test was negative but I am not feeling well on this regimen and am wondering if I can switch to Truvada/Isentress without difficulties. I have been taking the Epzicom/Isentress for 3 wks but side effects are getting worse and I can tell this isn't going to be the long-term regimen for me. I was first diagnosed on 11/16/11. Thanks!

Response from Dr. McGowan

Hi Ron,

Sorry to hear that you are having difficulty with your initial treatments. Rest assured that there are many options available and you should work with your medical provider to find the best "fit" for you.

As long as there has been no resistance detected in your virus you should be able to switch to truvada and isentress since the rash on Atripla was likley related to the efavirenz component and not the truvada (tenofovir/emtricitabine) part. Only you can judge the side effects you are having, and only you can say when you have had enough. Mild effects can often be treated symptomatically (something for nausea or diarrhea, etc) with the hopes that they usually fade after the body "adjusts" to having the medicine inside. But sometimes it just doesn't work. Keep in touch with your medical provider and let him/her know how you feel. If it ever gets to the point that you are considering skipping doses to avoid feeling bad, that is the time to make a move. Joe

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