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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Jun 5, 2003

Doc, few days ago I asked about Sustiva which am currently taking and just started almost a week now, and my main problem is dizziness. I feel dizzy almost the whole day, and it is getting worse every day such that I cant concentrate on my studies. Is there any drug that can be prescribed to contain this dizziness? Or I should just learn to live with it? which am afraid will affect my studies badly. please help.

Response from Dr. Boyle

Dizziness is a common intial side effect of efavirenz, however, in most patients it goes away after a week or so. There are a few things that help. Try taking the medication right before bedtime so that the side effects are less (or hopefully not there at all) when you get up. If you are currently doing that, and still having problems, consider moving the dosing back to 12-15 hours before you need to be functional. If that doesn't do it, some of my patients have also benefited from meclizine or dimenhydrinate, some medications that help with dizziness. While the dizziness is present, you should, of course, be careful to avoid activities that may be difficult or dangerous.

Should I ask my doctor about switching treatments?

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