Mar 26, 2012
After 20 years of not needing HIV meds (because of great CD4 counts and a low viral load) my doctor of seven years decided I needed medication six months ago. I accepted the constant nausea and fatigue for four weeks believing my system would adjust to the meds. On my followup visit, he increased my dosage upon the recommendation of the drug rep. Most days I couldn't get our of bed. The question is, What criteria should a doctor use to select the medication? Shouldn't he know what other medications (e.g., blood pressure) the patient is taking and check for complications? He took me off all medications. I'm in the process of looking for a new physician. In the meantime, I am developing skin lesions, on my body and can barely walk a block without difficulty breathing. I am also accepting the fact that my "good luck" has run out.
Response from Dr. McGowan
I am sorry to hear about your experience.
Yes, absolutely all medications a person is taking should be reviewed when starting HIV treatment, or adding new meds for other consitions once you have started.
If the proper dose of HIV meds were not used from the start, it may lead to the development of drug resistance. I think cahnging docs was a good move. A good way of finding an experienced HIV provider (other than word of mouth from satisfied customers) is to check out the website of the American Academy of HIV Medcine (www.aahivm.org). Look on the risght side of the home page for the "AAHIVM Referral Link" put in your zip code and look for a nearby specialist.
Hope things get back on track quickly.
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