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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Combivir/Fortovase or Combivir/Sustiva
Apr 4, 2003

Hi, I began treatment with Sustiva/Videx EC/Zerit with good results, VL undetecable...but developed peripheral neuropathy in the 4th month. My Doctor had me stop treatment, then switch to Combivir/Fortovase. I couldn't take the nausea with the Fortovase, so I've been taking the Combivir alone for the last 2 months. Is there any reason why I could not add back the Sustiva, rather than the Fortovase? Is Sustiva associated with Peripheral Neuropathy at all ? I handled the effects of Sustiva rather well, and it was quite easy to take, so I would welcome it back into my treatment. As for the Fortovase, well, downing 6 pills three times a day plus the nausea is too much for me..Would you recommend the Combivir/Sustiva ? I do plan to discuss with my Doctor but wanted another opinion. Thanks for any advice..

Response from Dr. Henry

It is usually not a good idea to just use Combivir. If your viral load is still undetectable then adding the Sustiva is reasonable. Ziagen and/or Viread are also possibilities. Sustiva is not usually linked to peripheral neuropathy (that would most likely be due to D4T + ddI in your case). KH

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