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Nerves Discomfort At Feet

Sep 16, 2013

Hi doc! I was diagnosed in 2007. Started on single pill SLN3(Stavudine,Lamivudine,Nevirapine). Soon switched to 2 pills Combivir & Nevirapine in 2008 to avoid Stavudine when complained to doctor about nerves discomfort. Currently, VL is undetectable, CD4 is around 300, nerves endings at feet still uncomfortable! Is it neuropathy? Is it side effects of the ARVs or other causes? Tried Neurobion & Gabapentin but no lasting effect. Should I switch regimen or ask for other nerves pain killers? Thanks a lot! Malaysian Poz.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting from beautiful Malaysia. Many of us were fortunate to visit your country during this summer's IAS2013 conference.

The symptoms that you describe certainly sound like peripheral neuropathy- typically this starts at the ends of the feet/toes (or hands) and gradually moves upward towards the trunk. Also, symptoms tend to be symmetric.

The stavudine that you took in the past was the likely culprit, and though less commonly, the zidovudine in Combivir may also be contributing.

Unfortunately, treatment for neuropathy is not very effective and many suffer from persistent pain and numbness. Clearly stopping the offending medication and ruling out any additional causes of nerve injury (such as diabetes, thyroid problems or vitamin B12 deficiency) is important.

At this point, I'd ask your doctor if something other than Combivir is available to you; at the same time though, I'd be asking for additional relief from the pain.

I hope that this is helpful, and don't hesitate to write back, BY

viremia does not fall
Medication for HIV Negative Persons Whose Partner Is Positive

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