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Atripla & Panic Attacks/Anxiety

Jan 6, 2011

I have been taking Atripla for about two years with pretty good results. Undetectable viral load and t-cells hovering around 600. I have a history of anxiety issues, but since I started this med it seems like my depression, irritability, moodiness, lack of motivation have really gotten out of control. I had two panic attacks as a teenager and none since until this week (I've had two attacks just in the last 48 hours). It seems like my panic/mood issues have gotten progressively worst since starting this medication. Is that even possible? It sounds like for most people the issues occur early on and go away with time, but I've been feeling like it's been getting progressively worst. My life is actually fairly calm and there is no extra stress I can think off. Nothing in particular seems to trigger the attacks but when I was younger I had very definite triggers. Think it might be time for a med change? I'm getting pretty concerned about this.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Atripla is a combination medication that contains Sustiva, well-known for potential mood-altering effects. These can include depression, difficulty concentrating, strange thoughts and even vivid dreams. Most people find that these side effects diminish after a few weeks on the drug but in certain cases they can persist. It is significant, however, that you have only just begun to experience panic attacks after an extended period on the drug. Speak with your physician about any potential role of Atripla and ask for an opinion and/or referral to a mental health provider to discuss your mood concerns.

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