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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Strange collection
Dec 20, 2002

Dear Der:

Again, many thanks for all the help you guys offer.

I've recently (late July) restarted on therapy, after 15 months off drugs. I'm taking Trizivir and have sen excellent results: T4 has gone from 275 to 560 and V/L is <40.

But there have been some strange, if admittedly not very serious (not yet?) side effects that my dr has no idea what to make of...

1) My sense of taste has all but disappeared. I can still make out spice (very spicy) foods, but things like sweet and salty have gone.

2) I get strange days when one of my feet goes numb for a while. Nothing too serious and it's usually a while between these events.

3) My male pattern baldness has really accelerated!

I don't think any of these are particularly life threatening, but what I'm worried about is that they could be precursors to some more problematic reaction to the drug.

Thnaks for your help


Response from Dr. Henry

I have observed each of those complaints in a small percentage of patients-even in the old days (before triple therapy). I suspect they are often due to one of the nucleoside antiretroviral drugs you are on. You could consider switching drugs around (tenofovir for AZT for example or adding Sustiva and dropping one of the Nukes contained in Trizivir). That sort of approach is a hit and miss strategy that sometimes can characterize which drug(s) are the offending agent. A downside to that is that the regimen can get more complicated and you might be trading one side effect for another. KH

Best combination of medicine for starting treatment
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