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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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newly diagnosed and not sure of neuropathy!
Feb 21, 2004

i tested positive at the hospital in december, in for what i learned was PCP. started combo of epivir, sustiva and viread daily for a month now, with zithromax once weekly and bactrim 3x per week. question: for over a week now i have been experiencing severe pain in my left upper arm. went to the doctor last week and they said it may be neuropathy, but that it was unusual to ocurr in the upper arm. i feel a burning sensation that comes and goes with severity. only the other day did i notice some tingling in my fingers, but can still type and lift heavy objects. the pain is now getting unbearable. they prescribed tyl #3, which just makes me mushy and tired. i must call them back this week for the pain is so bothersome that i find it hard to concentrate. as of december, my numbers were VERY low, maybe 20 t cells at best, and i experience small low-grade fevers during the day and AWFUL restless sleep at nites. any idea what this pain in my arm could be? and any suggestions to inquire at the doc's office!!??

Response from Dr. Henry

The localized problem you are having could be due to a nerve impingement. That would not likely be due to the usual sensory neuropathy seen with HIV or a toxic neuropathy due to HIV treatment. The timing and location doesn't fit, Some infections flare-up in the early months of treatment (immune reconstitution syndrome) and can result in fevers and swelling of lymph nodes which can press on a nerve. A wide range of HIV-related problems can cause fever or nerve involvement which are best evaluated by your HIV specialist and possibly a neurologist.


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