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Sustiva and Sleep Disorder
Sep 30, 2003


I recently started a once a day regimen of Viread/Emtriva/Sustiva which is very convenient and reportedly a potent combo for treatment naive patients.

I recovered from a Sustiva rash but I wanted to ask about the sleep problems I am having (I suspect from the Sustiva) about 3 weeks into the therapy.

I have been sleeping 12-14 hours when I do not have to get up (on weekends) and when I do wake up, I end up going back to bed and napping (sometimes for another 2-3) hours.

I know the Sustiva dreams can potentially cause fatigue and exhaustion (I suppose because the drug can disrupt sleep patterns) but my question is: will this side effect pass in time? or is this something that could potentially be a chronic condition?? I do like the regimen but I am considering asking my doc about Viramune if the fatigue, exhuastion and sleep disruptions do not stop.

Response from Dr. Conway

Up to half of patients who are on Sustiva will develop some neurological or psychological symptoms in the first weeks of therapy. This includes the lethargy/increased sleeping that you describe. In the vast majority of cases, these will pass, so it is best to be patient.

If you end up having to change your Sustiva, Viramune would be an excellent, effective option that does not have this type of side effect.


I would also want to be sure that your symptoms be not due to some OTHER cause, like anemia. It is best that you go to your doctor and get evaluated (including appropriate blood tests) to make sure that there are no other causes for your symptoms.

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