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buffalo hump

Mar 2, 2009

Was taking Zerit for 10+ yrs and developed severe body wasting, so switched to Ziagen & now I've developed the dreaded buffalo hump after only 8 months. Would it be feasible to alternate the two drugs to alleviate the wasting issues & also eliminate the hump by switching back & forth say every 3 months? Thx!

Response from Mr. Vergel

Once the hump appears, it is very difficult to eliminate it without surgery. It amazes me that switching from Zerit to Ziagen caused your buffalo hump to grow. Usually, switching from thimidine analogs (Zerit and AZT) do not cause body changes, unless something else changes in your metabolism. Has anything else changed (other meds, your lipids or blood sugar)?

If your hump is big, you may want to tell your doctor to refer you to a surgeon that performs liposuction and also knows how to get insurance reimbursement for that. Without good medical justification, many insurers will not pay for the procedure since they perceive it as cosmetic. Neck pain and sleep apnea are common justification for a letter of medical necessity.


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