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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Drug combo. for slowing/halting lipoatrophy
Oct 31, 2003

Hello Doctor. I have been on the combination of Viramune, Zerit, and Epivir for the past 5 years. Undetectable viral load and CD4 counts between 500 and 850. I Desire now to switch due to lipoatrophy in face, arms, legs, buttocks. Doc. says Combivir and Sustiva have had good results. Told doc. that I would rather not take Combivir, due to presence of AZT and it's association with lipo. I suggested switching out the Zerit for Ziagen. Doc. said this is not a common comb., but is do-able. What are your suggestions? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Response from Dr. Conway

First, congratulations on sticking with HAART for 5 years and achieving such good results.

We are using unconventional combinations all the time. The drug in your regimen that is probably causing you trouble is the Zerit. To keep it simple, I would be in favor of a single drug switch, which you can easily do with an undetctable viral load. So switching Zerit to Ziagen is an excellent choice. Another benefit is that Epivir and Ziagen will soon be co-formulated as a single pill that can be taken once a day. So you could wind up taking three pills (One new combination pill and two Viramune) once a day as your entire regimen.

Good Luck...

HIV Related Parotid Enlargement and Radiation Therapy

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