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Mental Health side efects of ART's

Feb 17, 2008

My wife was put onto ART's 10 weeks ago (Stocrin 600mgs and Truvada, 1 tablet per day). We survived the initial 2 weeks of side effects, which were bad, and every thing was fine thereafter. However over the last 3 to 4 weeks she has become very agressive and depressed to the point of suicidal. she has suffered from mild depression (no medication required) most of her life but not as severe as recently. My question is, could the ART Regime she is on be agrevating the depression to this extent? and if so what would you recommend? Cheers

Response from Dr. Horwath

Yes, efavirenz (also known as Sustiva or stocrin) can cause psychiatric side effects. There are reported cases of people who have developed aggravated symptoms of depression or other types of mood symptoms after starting efavirenz. This requires a discussion with the prescribing doctor to see whether he or she feels it is necessary to continue the efavirenz or whether you can consider trying another antiretroviral. The alternative is to try treatment for the depression. You need to discuss these alternatives with your doctor.

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