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Bitter taste from meds

May 21, 2013

Hello, Dr. Young,

I have been first on Complera and then Stribild for the last 9 months. Almost from the start, I developed a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, which gets more pronounced in the evening. It's never gone away. While not a debilitating side effect, it does affect my sense of well being, not to mention enjoyment of food. Why are the meds causing this bitter taste, and is there anything I can do to alleviate it? Thank you.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

This is an unusual one-- I'm not aware of this side effect from any of the HIV medicines. Nonetheless, as a self-admitting foodie, I'd hate to relegate all of your meals to an unenjoyable experience.

I wonder if a trial of a treatment interruption or alternative medication might help sort out if the taste issue is related to one of the medications in Complera.

Short of that, you could try moving the time of when you take your Complera, or sometimes hard candies can help.

Good luck, and let us know how things turn out for you. BY

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