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Diarrhea + Al(OH3)
Mar 12, 2001

I am on AZT, 3TC and Nelfinavir. I frequently have episodes of diarrhea (due to Nelfinavir, I've been told). I've tried Calcium supplements with very little success. The other day I took 2 pills for heartburn which contained Aluminum Hydroxide only (no Magnesium Hydroxide) and the diarrhea stopped. I felt a bit constipated even. The following day I took another pill and my bowel movements were normal. Question: Would it be safe to take one or two pills a day of Al(OH3) or are there long term side effects? Thank you in advance.

Response from Dr. Boyle

Nelfinavir-related diarrhea is diificult for many patients to manage. Like you, many of my patients have only limited success with calcium supplementation and other therapies. If the aluminum hydroxide works for you, I would continue it. I am unaware of any information that indicates taking a relatively small dose on a continuing basis has any long-term problems or complications, but you should discuss this with your doctor and make sure that he or she is aware that you are on it as it may have drug interactions with certain other medications. BB

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