Terrible rash. Sustiva or Epzicom?
Apr 6, 2005
Hello, First I would like to thank you for any advice you can give. I have been getting high creatinine numbers, around 2, for a year now. I recently changed my med from Crixivan, Zerit, and Epivir to Sustiva and Epzicom. After 8 days I had a rash that covered me from neck to ankles. Very itchy and red. I read that this is a possible side effect of both of the new medicines. I've stopped taking both meds. I read on another web page that I might still be able to go back to Sustiva when the rash goes away. Any truth to that? But if it's the Epzicom I know I cannot take it ever again. How do I know for sure? I would like to keep one of the drugs because of the easy dosage. I'm 42 and have been on the old medicines for about 7 years. I hope you can give me some insight. Thanks again.
Response from Dr. Henry
Difficult situation. I often prefer not to start abacavir and efavirenz at the same time since it can be confusing to sort out which drug could be the culprit when a rash appears. If a rash with other symptoms occurs after starting abacavir one has to be very concerned about the abacavir hypersensitivity reaction--ideally your HIV doc or other HIV experienced person can directly evaluate the situation to make the call. An efavirenz rash can usually be treated through (not true for clearly serious abacavir reactions). If all you had was a rash then it is a judgement call but often that would not be an abacavir hypersensitivity reaction. If your creatinine is elevated the lamivudine dose may need to be decreased (ideally would have a creatinine clearance calculated). KH
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