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Complera and Valtrex
Jan 11, 2013

My Doctor prescribed Complera for me to start treating my HIV. He also gave 1mg of Valacyclovir for the first 30 days to prevent shingles. Should I be concerned about increased side effects and kidney health? Does this combo really reduce the risk of shingles?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

First off, it's important to recognize that treating HIV is generally a good thing for kidney health- since HIV itself can lead to kidney injury. It's also relevant to know that certain HIV medications and medications used to treat associated conditions can cause kidney injury, it's recommended by many medical organizations that kidney health be monitored as a matter of routine health care. The most recent management guidelines were issued late last year by the New York State Department of HIV Health Institute.

In this, you'll note that people who are taking a tenofovir-containing regimen, like Complera should have their kidney function assessed periodically (every 4 moths) and regularly.

Complera itself doesn't treat shingles, but improving the immune function can help decrease the frequency of outbreaks. Valtrex is used to prevent shingles and other herpes infections.

Hope that's helpful, BY

One of my relatives is HIV+, his CD4 count is ranging from 275-325
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