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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Jul 4, 2005

I'm scared. I was just in hospital and the doctor said that he found enzymes in my muscles. I've been having a lot of spasms in muscles all over my body. Help!

Response from Dr. Conway

You may mean that some of the enzymes that are measured in your blood and that may indicate some muscle disease (such as creatine kinase) were elevated. If this is the case, I would first go over whether the test was done after vigourous exercise, an injury or something else that may cause this test to be temporarily abnormal. If this is the case, I woudl just get the test repeated at a time when this is not the case and see what happens.

Beyond this, it will be important to try to understand whether this is due to an antiviral medication you are taking (usually the nucleoside drugs) or to something else. In some cases, there may be a need to stop your HIV medications at least temporarily and see if it improves. In other cases, just repeating the test and making sure that it is improving is all that is required. This is often the case for people who have been acutely sick and in hospital.

In any case, follow up is the key here and there is almost always time to figure this out and take the right course of action. I encourage you to work through this with your doctor.

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