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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Severe Neuropathy
Oct 4, 2000

Dr. Boyle, I was diagnosed in 1986 and took no medication for HIV until I began having tingling in my feet and pneumonia in 1993. The neuropathy became so crippling and severe I was bedridden for two years. I have never taken any of the 'd" drugs so I can only relate th econdition to HIV. My t cells are 140 with no detectable Viral Load. I was able to walk with much pain using Duragesic Patches , I have tried all other remedies, neurontin - nortyptolin - elavil no relief. Recently my doctor has started using Lamictal 100mg a day , I also take 1500 acytyl carnitine. Do you have experience with Lamictal. Please let me know if there is any other things to try. Stephen

Response from Dr. Bartlett

I have used lamictal in several patients with neuropathy and some have gotten significant relief from it. It is certainly worth trying at this point along with the L-acetyl carnitine, although there is very limited data to support the use of the latter at this point. Your doctor should thoroughly evaluate you, if he/she hasn't already, for other causes of neuropathy such as vitamin deficiencies and diabetes and these should be treated and corrected if possible. A topical medication, Lidoderm, which directly applies anesthetic to the affected area may also help and some patients benefit from yoga or acupuncture therapy. If all else fails, you should discuss increasing your pain medications with your doctor.

John A. Bartlett, M.D.

Newly Diagnosed
Leg, ankle and feet swelling

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