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sustiva/combivir side effects
Sep 5, 2003

I seroconverted a little over one month ago, and was started on Combivir and Sustiva right away. I am slowly adjusting to the medication, but one thing that has not let up is quite inconvenient. In the morning, about 20 minutes after I wake up, I have an extreme urge to defecate, and I go, but the urge does not go away -- in about 20 more minutes, it comes back, with some pretty extreme cramping. The feeling lasts for the first 4 hours of my day, which is not compatible with my daily schedule, and is causing some problems. I don't know if this is from the Sustiva, or Combivir, or something else, but it is pretty consistently every day. Is there something I can do about this? Will it go away? I can deal with feeling nauseous at work, as I have been, but this is quite bad. Please help. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Henry

Could be the AZT part of the Combivir. You might consider trying to take the Sustiva in the AM to see if the pattern changes. I assume you have no other GI problems (H pylori, ulcers, proctitis, parasite infections, etc). An immodium before bedtime for a while might help the symptoms (oat bran, calcium supplements help some patients). If none of that helps then switching off one of your meds one at a time is often an approach that I consider. KH

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