Apr 13, 2005
Thank you for answering my first question. My second is: What behaviors and environmental factors do you think contribute to the side-effects of HIV medications?
Response from Dr. Henry
I am not sure how behaviors contribute to side effects since side effects are more linked to intrinsic properties of a particular drug or chemical. There are likely genetic pre-disposition for certain side effects that may relate to say how well a drug is absorbed or metabolized that may account for wide variability. Similarly, environmental factors are hard to isolate particulary in the context of many of the newer therapies where the success rate is now high and side effect rates are relatively low. Again, it seems that genetic issues probably play a larger role (say in the metabolism and side effect profile of efavirenz) that environmental issues other than perhaps with food intake (examples are high fat increases efavirenz levels and may increase side effect rate or use of ST Johns wort or high consumption of grapefruit may decrease protease inhibitor levels). KH
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