May 21, 2012
If one is on Atripla can one increase the dosage to twice a day. What impact would it make on the viral load. Can it speed up the undetectable viral load status? Can one increase the dosage and revert back to once a day pill after the undetectable viral load status has been achieved?
Response from Dr. McGowan
There is no need to increase the dose of Atripla.
The blood levels of efavirenz, one of the key ingredients is well above the amount needed to kill the virus. Unlike with protease inhibitors where we combine drugs to "boost" up the blood levels, there is no need to do this for efavirenz.
Also, the higher dose has not been studied for safety to the liver and kidneys. Most side effects from Atripla are related to higher blood levels (which is why it should be taken on an empty stomach to avoid an overly high blood level).
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