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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Possible meds malabsorption?
Jun 22, 2005

Hi there dear Doctor?

Thank you for considering my question.I am currently taking the following meds: Epzicom+Sustiva. Upon treatment my labs were the following: CD4-187,VL->100,000. I have a problem swallowing pills. Therefore, I tend to chew and disolve my medications inside my mouth with water. In the beginning I had a few side effects. Now,they are all gone. Doctor,it is possible that I may not be absorbing my medications at all, or not enough to suppress the virus, due to the fact that I am not intaking them like I should? My HIV doctor tells me that is is fine. I am deeply concerned because I do not wish to build resistance to these great medications. Doctor, from your perspective, is it all right to chew this tablets, or am I at risk of failing my current regimen? please respond.Thank You.

Response from Dr. Henry

It is difficult to predict for sure how well the meds are being absorbed in the situation you describe. If your viral load is dropping rapidly that would strong evidence that your drugs are getting absorbed. You can also have the levels of the drugs measured (such as the Sustiva=efavirenz) to see if expected levels are being achieved. KH

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