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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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I need to change my medication
May 11, 2005

I have been postitive for 12 years. I began taking medication approximately 2 1/2 years ago(Combivir and Sustiva). I have lost weight in my legs, arms and buttocks. I have read that some medications displace fat. I think it may be time for me to change medications but to be honest, "I am scared". Is there somthing I could switch to that would not cause so much cell damage?

Response from Dr. Conway

The loss of body mass you describe is sometimes seen in people who have not received any treatment, so it is not always due to medications. This being said, a regimen of Epivir, Viread and Sustiva has been associated with a very low incidence of its development over 3-5 years in clinical trials. If your viral load is undetectable, you could make a single drug swtich from Combivir (which is Retrovir plus Epivir) to Epivir and Viread and be on a more favorable regimen with respect to the issue of body mass loss. If Truvada (combination of Viread and Emtriva) is available to you, this is the same thing (using FTC instead of 3TC, functionally the same drug) and you can be on a total of 2 pills once a day as your entire HAART regimen.

Do I have AIDS?
risks/benefits of self-initiating PEP with leftover pills?

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