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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Opioid and HAART
May 31, 2002

Dear Doctor My dear fiend is on terapy with Zerit, Videx and Sustiva but i think he is very crazy because he take another " illegal drugs" like the diabolic heroine.My question is : heroin and opioids can above all provoke interactions with these meds(eg Sustiva) and kills my friend before HIV kills him? He said me... heroine cut off the depression and soul pain I dont share this idea. Thanks Marco

Response from Dr. Henry

There has been concern about the possibility of drug interactions with HIV meds and narcotics. For example, studies have looked at the use of protease inhibitors with methadone. Your friends current cocktail should generally go OK with his HIV meds. He may want to consider a methadone program and drug counseling/rehabilitation. HIV+ persons who actively use narcotics or are on methadone and take their HIV meds faithfully generally do quite well so I can't say that narcotic use is always a difficulty. THe problem comes when patients don't take their HIV meds properly due to altered mental state induced by the drugs, etc. KH

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