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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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pain on inside of legs
Jul 9, 2005

I started on meds (Kaletra, D4T, and 3TC ) 9 months ago and had only mild side effects until about 3 weeks ago. Starting then I developed diarrhea and bloating in the abdomen (sometimes to the point of pain). Along with this came pain/sensitivity in my legs and swelling in my ankles. The pain and extreme sensitivity to touch is mainly on the inside of my legs -- both calves and thighs -- the outsides seem quite normal. My feet also seem fine. Is this neuropathy or something else? I will see my doctor soon to discuss switching meds. Any suggestions?

Response from Dr. Conway

The bloating may well be due to the Kaletra, although it would be important to make sure that you don't just have a bowel infection or some other condition that could easily be treated.

The symptoms in your legs could well be neuropathy. A physical examination (and other tests, if needed) can help figure out if the pain originates from your nerves or from elsewhere. D4T could be the cause of the neuropathy, but it would also be important to consider other causes, such as B12 deficiency, syphilis, etc.... before definitively blaming the drugs.

As for switching drugs, it depends on your response to therapy. If you are not responding, this may be a good opportunity to stop and figure out what to do next (perhaps based on the results of a resistance test). If you are responding, a strategy to change the drugs one by one could be designed, in order to maintain suppression while you are transitioning to a regimen you can better tolerate.

Good luck...

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