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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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treatment of pain while on peg
Aug 30, 2005

In 1999, I was treated for HCV with interferon. I felt awful..like I was beat up with a baseball bat. I will be starting the pegylated inerferon soon and my doctor said he will manage my pain and anxiety and depression. I see a psych too. How will the pain and anxiety be managed? What drugs are used? I am currently on wellbutrin for mild depression.

Response from Dr. Conway

For many people, the side effects can be controlled with over-the-counter medications such as Advil, Tylenol and Gravol. I often give the medications ahead of the weekly dose of pegylated interferon and concentrate on making sure the person feels as well as possible over the next 2 days or so.

For the depression, it would be important to make sure your dose of Wellbutrin is stable and effective before the treatment starts and to tell your doctor immediately if your depression is getting worse after the interferon treatment starts. In our clinic, we feel very comfortable using interferon in people who are depressed as long as there is not history of a suicide attempt or similarly severe depression, but it is important that the side effect of worsening depression be well understood and that the lines of communication are wide open.



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