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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Sustiva & Menstruation
Nov 10, 2000

I've been using oral contraceptives for a couple of years now and everything was fine until I started a combo of Sustiva and Combivir. Then I started to get periods every 21 days! My doctor has tried changing my birth control pills five times already, with no improvement. I cannot change my HIV therapy, as I'm highly treatment experienced, and this is a last ditch therapy for me. It works very well ( as far as suppression goes), although I too struggle with lipodystrophy, weight gain and loss of muscle tone. Is this effect on menstruation common or am I the only one? And what to do about it?

Response from Dr. Bartlett

Menstrual irregularities are very common among HIV-infected women. One important question to ask your health care provider is whether there could be a drug interaction between your Sustiva and your birth control pills.

John A. Bartlett, M.D.

muscle pain
hair loss JB

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