|Could my meds have caused false negative ELISA's?
Sep 23, 2003
Dr. Horwath, I keep seeing references to some antidepressants suppressing the immune system and HIV antibody production - this raises the question whether they can cause false negative HIV ELISA tests.
I am on 20 mgs of Remeron per night, 10 mgs. of Lexapro per day, .75 mgs of Risperdal per day and .5mg of chlonazapan twice a day. I also take 7mg codein/750mg acetaminophen of Vicodin two to three times a day for very painfullymph nodes.
Is there any chance that any or some of the above meds could have caused false negative ELISA tests 6 and 8 months after a moderate risk exposure? I have continued viral symptoms and non HIV causes have also been ruled out. My wife and I would like to try for a child, so there is a lot riding on the reliability of the ELISA tests.
Your advice on the possible effect of my meds on the reliability of my ELISA's would be very appreciated.
| Response from Dr. Horwath
I have no reason to believe that these medications could cause a false negative on the ELISA test.
The ELISA test is highly sensitive, and very unlikly to miss a true HIV antibody response. The main question in testing is making sure enough time has passed to allow for an antibody response to develop. Certainly 6-8 months is well within the usual range. For example, the CDC guidelines for testing following occupational exposure suggest serial testing out to 6 months.
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