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Scared of HIV medication

Apr 21, 2004

Thank you for considering my question. I have been hiv+ for 7 years, and have faired well until this past year, my t-cells were 370 today, it was in the 600's 3months ago. My doctor prescribed me combvir 60mgbid, and sustiva 600mg at bedtime. I am now in a state of panic, im so afraid of the medication and its side effects. I feel like im loosing my mind, is this a normal reaction or am i being a big baby. Thank You. William

Response from Dr. Horwath

It is understandable to be apprehensive about taking powerful medications such as these. But remember, the effects of these drugs, including the adverse effects, are well understood.

Some common adverse effects of Combivir include anemia,neuropathy and fatigue.

Common adverse effects of Sustiva include vivid dreams, depression, moodiness, confusion, and hallucinations. In clincial trials, about 50% of patients had some of these effects. Most commonly, these side effects were mild and transient, but in some persons, they were more persistent.

It's important for you to be well informed and to recognize problems such as these if they occur. When recognized, these side effects can be managed, or alternative medications can be tried.

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