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Fatigue related to HIV Meds

Apr 5, 2008

Wanted to elicit feedback regarding the relationship of HIV drug related-fatigue.

My experience w/the virus has been fairly unlucky. Got infected 6/2006 and by 9/2007 I was symptomatic (intense fatigue and skin prob) my T count dropped from 1144 to 721 in the space of nine months. My virus is not Rx resistant per my labs.

I started meds (Epzicom & Kaletra) on 12/1/07 (T ~650) and w/in four wks my T was back to 1360 and VRL was down to 429. No rash or sever reaction to the Kaletra.

I returned to my pre-symptom energy level for about four weeks and then the fatigue reappeared so I had my levels taken and they were 1240 and VRL was 190.

While fatigue can be caused by depression and anxiety, I was feeling mentally great and very hopeful. I was exercising, I didn't(don't) use recreational drugs and slept 7+ hrs a night

Accordingly, it would seem to me that my fatigue's major driver is the medication.

What are your thoughts?

Response from Dr. Frascino


There are many potential underlying causes that can contribute to HIV-associated fatigue, including anemia, hormonal imbalances, occult infections, medication side effects/toxicities, psychological causes, etc. Many times the underlying cause of HIV-related fatigue turns out to be multifactorial. That means several underlying conditions are working in tandem to drain your energy batteries. I'd suggest you take a read through the archives of this forum to gain a better understanding of the common and not-so-common potential underlying causes of HIV-related fatigue. Make a list and then discuss these potential causes with your HIV specialist. To assume your problem is solely or even primarily caused by your medication is premature.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Legs feel heavy
Undetecable viral load

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