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Trizivir causing facial wasting?
Jun 12, 2002

Dear Doctor:

What could be the possible causes of marked facial wasting after only 15 months on Trizivir, which is my first antiretroviral. Numbers are good: UD and CD4's 450. Suffered heart attack about 8 months ago. Any input is appreciated?

Response from Dr. Boyle

Well, it may be the antiretrovirals - all of them can cause lipoatrophy to varying degrees and in some studies it appears that the Retrovir (AZT, zidovudine) component of Trizivir in particular is associated with this problem. On the other hand, there are many other factors and medications that can cause the problem, Your doctor should thoroughly evaluate you for physical or laboratory problems. He/she should also evaluate your current medications to make sure that one of them is not also contributing to the problem. Finally, it may not be the medications at all. In one study, the patient's lowest CD4 count was predictive of the development of lipoatrophy, so that if your T cells were at some point lower than 200 you may have been prone to develop lipoatrophy.

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