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Medicine Break and returning
Mar 1, 2014

Dear Dr i am writing from South Africa, i hvae been HIV meds for the past 10 years ( Truvada, Reyataz and Novir) i recntly took a break for about 6 months , now when i went back to my doctor she suggested that i return to the same drugs that i ave been using as my medical aid will not approve for any other drugs. my proble ins the pill load, i would like to know if ther is one drug that i can swtch to and my medical aid pay for it.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting from South Africa.

First off, it's reasonable to return to your previous medications if you were tolerant of the medications.

If you're challenged by pill burden, switching to other medications might be an option, but primarily if you don't have any issues with viral drug resistance. If your virus has resistance, given the limited number of single pill regimens, you might be out of luck since Atripla (or generic equivalent) or Complera are likely the only single tablet available.

Failing that, I'd suggest asking if there might be strategies to help with your issue of pill number fatigue- could pill boxes, or altering the timing of daily dosing help? The Truvada/Norvir/Reyataz regimen is three pills daily; not one, but I'd argue that this isn't so many to prevent you from taking a life saving regimen. It's an important issue to find the best, and most tolerable regimen for you, your lifestyle and virus.

Be well, BY

Shingles during HIV medication

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