Kaletra vs Atazanavir for diarrhea
Apr 28, 2004
I am currently taking Kaletra, Viread, Ziagen and 3TC and having terrible problems with diarrhea. I know it's the Kaletra as I was on the other meds in the past and had none. I've tried all the usual routes--immodium, lomotil, calcium carbonate, high soluble fibre diet, etc. etc. and had no improvement. Would a switch to atazanavir (with 100mg norvir kicker) help with this problem? Do you know if there is evidence that suggests atazanavir is more easily tolerated in that respect? Also, is it less likely to cause facial lipoatrophy than kaletra? Thanks
Response from Dr. Conway
It would be important to make sure (by tests on your stool and perhaps even other tests) that there is not a specific cause for your diarrhea other than the medications. This being said, it is quite possible that it may be a side effect of the Kaletra. If you have an undetectable viral load, you can make a single drug substitution of atazanavir for Kaletra. To date, the GI side effects of atazanavir have been less marked, and the risk of lipodystrophy may be much lower. A recent publication (albeit of only three cases) reports reversal of lipodystrophy after a switch to atazanavir.
One final benefit of a change to atazanavir is a reduction in the pill count of your regimen and the ability to take eveything once a day (a total of 7 pills by my count).
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