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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Numbness In My Mouth
Oct 28, 2004

I started with a HAART (Sustiva, Epivir and Viread) in April of this year. Whereas my viral load is no longer detectable, my T-cells keep going up and down (between 48 and 78). About 3 weeks ago, a new "symptom" popped up, which has my doctor scratching his head! Perhaps one of you have encountered this before: My entire mouth, including my lips are numb, and tingling (like after a shot of Novacain). I also have the feeling like my mouth is constantly dried out. My doctor has checked for a fungal infection, but found none. I was taken off Epivir and Viread for a couple of weeks and put on Combivir, but that didn't do the trick either. Does anyone know what this could be? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Henry

Sometimes HIV patients (independent of their HIV drugs) develop the sicca syndrome which includes a very dry mouth (often the salivary glands don't work very well with that). Many drugs which have anti-cholinergic effects (such as benadryl) can aggravate the problem. I often get an ENT doc or dentist to evaluate to see what is going on. KH

Marinol and Megace
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