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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Sep 22, 2004

I was diagnosed as HIV positive 20 years ago. At that time I was treated with AZT and have changed meds as they've become available. 10 years ago I was diagnosed with polymiositis after experiencing severe muscle weakness. I have been on steroids (starting on 40mg/day and reducing to about 15mg for maintenance). My doctors would like to reduce the prednisone, and are talking about an immunosuppressive regime. My TCells hover well above 500 and I have no detectable viral load on the current meds. Do you think the immunosuppressive regime is risk/safe acceptable, or any other suggestions to deal with the polymiositis.


Response from Dr. Henry

Treatment of inflammatory myositis (in the rheumatologic category of conditions) often involves use of immunosuppressives. Many HIV patients do OK with that though trying to minimize overlapping toxicities is a good idea. Long-term use of steroids can cause health problems including muscle and bone problems so often an alternative immunosuppressive drug is considered.KH

peripheral neuropathy in pinkie & ring fingers
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