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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Dark Patches on neck and arms
Mar 11, 2002

I am African American male and have been poz for 15 years in Fevruary. I started taking Combivir and Sustiva in August 2000. These are the only drugs I am on. First, I currently am experiencing extreme nervousness, I can't calm down. Secondly I have dark patches on my arms and neck. I am concerned about it spreading to my face. Is this from the meds?

Response from Dr. Henry

If you started your Sustiva regimen in August of 2000 without the extreme nervousness that you now have then I would be hesitant to pin the blame on one of your HIV meds. Sustiva can do that and there are anecdotal reports that patients are experiencing unusual mental health complaints after a period of few side effects. Switching off the Sustiva if that is an option might clarify that but you should discuss with your HIV doc. The dark patches are tough to discuss without more details. I have seen AZT cause darkening of the skin particularly in African Americans. You should consider seeing a dermatologist to be evaluated for that problem since a wide variety (anything from an infection to an auto-immine disorder to a malignancy) of conditions can do that. If your HIV doc isn't sure of what is causing that seeing a skin specialist is a very reasonable option. KH

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