Switching Atripla for Complera
Jul 3, 2013
Dear Doctor, I am writing you from Spain. First of all, thank you for your forum. I was diagnosed 1-year ago. I have been in Atripla since that time (may-12). My lab results were: before treatment (VL unknown, CD4 176); sep-12 (VL 1500, CD4 470); dec-12 (VL 175, CD 500); march-13 (VL 110, CD 540); jun-13 (VL 120, CD 610). My doctor told me not to be worried because VL < 200, and the good trend of CD4 ... He also advised me to change to Complera (because of fewer side effects) and I did it 2 days ago. My resistance test (before starting treatment) found none. HOWEVER, after reading some information here (less efficacy and more resistances than EFV) I am not sure I did the right and I am so worried. PLEASE, could you give me your opinion? Thanks in advance for your help.
Response from Dr. Young
Hola y gracias por su pregunta desde Espana.
Switching medications because of side effects is very reasonable. While (as you correctly point out) Complera has reduced effectiveness when starting in people with high viral loads, recent studies point out that this appears not to be an issue in people who are already on treatment and doing well.
It is important to take Complera with a full meal, as this is required to optimally absorb the medications into your system.
Make sure that your doctor monitors your symptoms and viral load closely in the first weeks after switching- this will ensure that there are no unexpected problems, and hopefully too, your viral load will reach that undetectable level.
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