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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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brittle nails
Jan 15, 2004

hi, i've had hiv for about three years and about 6 months ago began taking kaletra and combivir. i'm scheduled for labs in a couple of weeks, but at last count my viral load was undetectable and my TCs were at a steady 300. my only notible side affect, other than occasional diahriha (sp?), are really ugly and brittle fingernails, always chipping and breaking......if that's happening, how are my bones dealing with this. i eat well, and hit the gym almost daily and am in perfect health otherwise....any thoughts.....

thanks, scooter

Response from Dr. Henry

Some patients seem to develop brittle nails on antiretroviral therapy (most often seen with indinavir--also the AZT component of Combivir). I am not aware of a correlation with osteopororis and brittle nails. If concerned you could get a bone DEXA scan. I occasionaly have switched a patient off Combivir for that problem (i.e. either avoid NRTIs altogether or use 2 non-thymidine NRTIs). Your HIV doc should be able to discuss your options with you and also assess whether you have a fungal nail infection or some other condition that could cause nail problems other than your HIV meds. KH

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