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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Jun 1, 2003

Dr. Henry,

I am planning to discuss with my doc the possibility to using the three drug combo viread/epivir/ziagen. I have a history of gatrointestinal problems and depression and wanted to avoid (AZT)and Sustiva for these reasons.

Is this a regimen that is widely used for treatment naive patients like myself with a viral load of 1,700 and a CD4 of 389? I recently seroconverted and see some benefit of starting treatment within the first year.

Also, can this regimen be taken together, for once a day dosing?



Response from Dr. Henry

There is not much published data on that particular combination. I often start patients out on a more aggressive and sometimes harder to tolerate regimen (with a high barrier to resistance) for 3-6 months until the virus is undetectable. I then often switch to a simple class sparing regimen. The regimen you are considering could very well be OK particularly since your viral load is low to start with. I usually check a resistance test before starting therapy. In my experience depression is not a reason to avoid Sustiva in most patients and AZT is well tolerated by >> 50% of patients (can always switch off) so you have lots of choices. KH

Sustiva and SSRIs
missed dosage

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