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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Severe Dry Mouth
Jul 1, 2005

I am a 49 year old woman living with HIV for 14 years this June. I have tried different meds, but currently I am not taking any medication. I am now experiencing a very severe dry mouth. I don't know what is causing it since I am no longer taking meds. I have had a bad experience with Virammune which gave me Stevens Johnson Syndrome that almost killed me. Then I tried Viracept & Combivir, which gave me bad diarrhea. My doctor wants to start me on Reyataz and some other drugs, but I must research them first. I am so afraid of the side effects these drugs cause and some are fatal. What do you recommend for a women of my age with the least side effects? It seems I am very sensitive to most drugs. My t-cell count is at 234 and I have a viral load of 24,000 mL copies. I was undetectable on the Viracept & Combivir but my T- Cells were staying in the 200 - 300 range only. Not impressive at all. I feel powerless and I would rather have quality of life versus quantity. right now I write to you my mouth is so dry it feels like cotton mouth and it is very uncomfortable and I know it can cause dental problems if I don't resolve the problem soon. Any articles or information you could email to me regarding this problem would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Robyn (

Response from Dr. Henry

Some patients (with or without HIV) develop dry mouth complaints from many conditions (such as Sjogrens /sicca syndrome) or drugs (often with diuretics or drugs with anticholinergic effects including antihistamines). A good oral/ENT evaluation may be helpful. There are an increasing # of treatment options for persons with HIV in western countries. In most cases a combination can be found that is a decent match for a given patient (options need to be individualized by an experienced HIV provider). Often a regimen with a boosted protease inibitor would be tried in cases such as yours. KH

Suspicious not really injected with Sculptra
Is Folliculitis contagious?

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