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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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muscle cramping
Jun 4, 2002

I have been on HAART for several years now and have experienced just about every type of side effect you can imaging from the drugs. Most recently I have been experiencing severe muscular cramping. This occurs in my arms, legs, and most painfully in the muscles within my midsection. I though I was experiencing an abdominal hernia and went to a specialist but things checked out ok. The midsection cramping is so severe at time it literally feels like a vice is around my mid section and I can feel and see the muscles protuding. My MD checked out my electrolytes and all seems aok.. Any suggestions on how to limit the cramping?

Response from Dr. Henry

That is another complaint that I have heard sporadically from patients. In some it has related to fat changes (increased intraabdominal fat leading to muscle complaints in that regeion or loss of fat in arms/legs leading to increased cramps there). How that happens is not clear to me. Sometimes moderate increases in lactic acid can result in cramps as can dehydration. Some HIV meds seem to cause cramps in a small subset of individuals for no apparent region (have you had your muscle enzymes checked?) Sometimes switching the HIV meds around helps a bit (if the situation allows for that). KH

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