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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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About meds and hair loss
Dec 6, 2000

I have been on Combivir and Viracept since July, and never had any side effects, however, lately, since November, I've

experiencing some hair loss, however, I'm not flipping out yet, the doctor wants to wait a little longer before he changes my meds (Combivir, I guess) and I'm OK so far. It falls when I wash it, but not in huge amounts, and when it's styled, it still looks full and healthy, I already own 2 cool wigs, and 1 extension that I used 4 years ago, when I had hair loss also, much worse than now, but I wasn't on any meds back then, I had seborrhea and also, I had just had surgery and was in a stressful relationship, so at the time, all that could have contributed to the hair loss. But, now, the only thing other than the meds, I'm thinking, about 1 1/2 months ago, I had a relapse of my PCP infection back in June, and they performed a bronchoscopy, though it

was just local anesthesia, I was totally out, didn't hear them speak, or anything, so I'm wondering, could that be the cause? In either case, I'd like to be prepared and stop the loss if it's going to keep coming. I've read a few suggestions on the Forum and will keep them in mind.

Thank you, I would appreciate a prompt response!

Response from Dr. Boyle

Hair loss is a difficult problem and may be related to medications, including combivir (AZT/3TC). Several prior questions have addressed the common causes of hair loss in HIV patients and are available for your review. If the hair loss is significant or worsening, I'd suggest that you see a dermatologist. BB

Brian Boyle, M.D., J.D.

Possible help for JB JB

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