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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Neuropathy? On NNRTI Regimen
Aug 27, 2004

I was on Zerit, VIDEX and Sustiva (I think the Sustiva was in this regimen) for about 2 years and BOY did I get the Lipodystrophy (sp)! Cheeks sunken, legs and arms and chest skinny. After 2 yrs I was switched to Combivir and Sustiva which I've been on for about 2 years now. I have 2 issues: Will the Lipodystrophy go away at all (it has some, but not back to normal at all) and 2. I have horrible burning and pain in my calfs and especially my feet--OH THEY ACHE and HURT constantly, plus a bit of numbness and tingling in my left foot pinky toe. Is this "Neuropathy" and is it related to either my HIV or my meds? My viral load is zero and my CD4 counts great--not bad after 17 years! Thanks so much for this site! Bless you all!

Response from Dr. Henry

Fat loss often reverses very slowly if at all. Combivir is also linked to fat loss but usually less than with ddI/D4T. Neuropathy can be persistent--your symptoms sound like either drug or HIV related neuropathy with drug related neuropathy more likely. A careful neurologic evaluation as well as a pain clinic assessment might be warranted to try and find a plan to provide relief while still keeping your HIV under control. KH

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