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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Cramps and Muscle Pain
Jun 18, 2005

Dear Dr H

Over the last 18 months, since testing positive and starting treaments, I have been experiencing quite severe muscle cramps in my lower legs. On a weekly basis, some times more, I'm woken during the night and the resulting pain in the muscles lasts for 2-3 days. I have also noticed that if I do anything vaugely physical - gardening, running for a bus and especially after sex - that these muscles get sore very quickly, the don't cramp fully but almost, again this lasts for 2-3 days at a time, making getting up and down stairs and travelling to & from work difficult. I've never had cramp before in my life until recently!???

Currents meds are Nevirapine and Combivir - started on Sustiva but switched after about 8 weeks due to CNS side effects. Last counts, Jan 05, CD4 462/25% and VL below 50 copies. Generally healthy and able to sieze the day but increasingly hobbling around like an old man, I know at 37 I'm no spring chicken but this is getting me down.

Any ideas???

CJ, London, UK

Response from Dr. Henry

I assume you have no evidence for an electrolyte imbalance or kidney problems. The AZT in Combivir can cause muscle damage (checking muscle enzyme levels can be useful) and in my experience it can hinder muscle recovery from exercise in a small subset of patients. If your HIV doc can't determine a diagnosis or a treatment then evaluation by a neurologist sometimes is helpful. KH

keletra and caffeine
Norvir-related devastating cardiovascular & circulatory side-effects

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