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Creatinine Levels
Oct 9, 2000

I recently changed jobs and had to take a UA before being offered the position. My test came back negative for illegal drugs (no surprise there), but they advised me that my "creatinine" level was very low. The lab assistant "hinted" that it might be something I was doing to "dilute" my urine. This is not the case. I was wondering if any of my HIV meds might affect this creatinine level (or anything I might be doing - inadvertently - would affect creatinine). I am presently taking Sustiva, Zerit and Videx. Previously I was on AZT and 3TC. I have never heard of creatinine before, now researching it and finding it may have to do with my kidneys, I am concerned. Please advise. Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Henry

Low creatinine levels would unlikely be a result of the HIV drugs you are on. There is a range of normal and some people run low levels and it is of no clinical significance in many instances. Sometimes it may be a reflection to some degree of a low body muscle mass and diets low in protein(and hydration status (= drinking lots of water may decrease level in the blood). If you are symptomatic in any way or have concerns about your weight/nutrition/hormonal status it may be worth having that evaluated. Again, usually a low creatinine level is not worrisome. KH

Keith Henry, M.D.

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