travel across multiple time zones
Dec 13, 2013
Hello Doctor, Thank you for your insights. I started Atripla in June 2013 with minimal to no side effects and adherence is not an issue for me at all at this point. However, January to May is "travel season" for me for work and I have two questions related to this. First - most of the travel is domestic, typically across 1 or 2 time zones. Because of time changes and late meetings I have less control over what and when I eat. From what I read the taking Atripla on an empty stomach is done to reduce side effects, does taking Atripla with food or recently after a meal present problems of effectiveness, or just inconvenience? My second question is one of the trips includes 4 days in South Korea, not including travel time, a 13 hour time difference. In this situation is it better to skip the travel day doses or switch to talking it in the mornings while there to keep the same 24 hour schedule?
Response from Dr. Young
Hello and thanks for posting.
With regards to your Atripla dosing, there's no strict need to take the medication fasting; taking the med with food or recent meal only potentially increases the absorption (with possible risk of increased side effects).
As for your international trip, since the main reason for taking efavirenz (part of Atripla) at night is to avoid side effects, unless you have no side effects (ie., can take in the morning), I'd advise skipping the dose on your flight day, and continue taking the medication (perhaps with a sleep aid, such as zolpidem) in the evening in your destination.
Hope that helps and bon voyage, BY
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