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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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sustiva/truvada and numbness in arms?
Apr 29, 2005

i've been on sustiva/truvada for just over a month now (previously treatment-naive), and am seeing the desired effects (viral load down from 47k to 98 copies, cd4s from 305 to 371 as of last two readings). in the last few weeks of treatment, however, i have felt a tingling/numbness in my arms, the sensation originating from and most severe at my armpits. it feels as if ropes have been tied around my arms at my armpits, and the pressure is restricting circulation.

is this sort of symptom common, or could this be completely unrelated (and nah, sadly i'm not being tied up regularly!)? i've heard of neuropathy with various treatments, but didn't think it likely with this combination.

thanks for any insight, and i want to add my thanks for this service, it has truly made an incredible difference in my ability to manage this disease, the information here has helped me to feel more in control of my health and considerably more competent in making decisions.

Response from Dr. Henry

What you describe is unlikely to be HIV or drug related neuropathy due to the timing and location. It could be some sort of compression occuring in the axilla or cervical spind (disc, lymph node enlargement) or from sleeping pressure at night (Sustiva might have changed your sleeping pattern). Sustiva can cause a range of even localized complaints that are often hard to explain how it can be so localized. Your HIV doc should evaluate further your next visit. KH

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