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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Joint pain and neuropathy
May 11, 2003

I have been poz for 4yrs, and started having increasing joint pain along with muscle soreness. This seemed to start within the first year of taking Meds. I started taking Norvir & Combivir , then switched over to Sustiva & Combivir. I had the same joint pain and muscle sorness with both combinations. After not having much luck with my doctors on this issue. I tried a combination of DHEA 25mg & Generic multivitamin (similar to Centrum Silver). For some reason this seems to reduce the Joint & muscle pain. And the numbness in my hands and feet has also improved. I also notice that if I stop taking these vitamins & supplements for 2-3 days, that the joint soreness begins to return. Now my question, can the HIV meds drain the body of nutrients, or inhibit the absorbtion of vitamins in a normal diet? Has anyone else found this combination to be helpful? I find that even 1/2 a multivitamin & 1/2 DHEA tab (12.5mg) daily, seems also to be beneficial.

Response from Dr. Henry

I have not seen any good data on your regimen and its proven benefit for the pains/discomfort you describe. The regimen you are on does not usually drain nutrients or prevent absorption of vitamins. AZT (in the Combivir) can cause a myopathy which can cause pain, weakness and elevated muscle enzymes. An HIV interested rheumatologist or neurolgist is often helpful to sort out complaints such as you describe. KH

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