Lipodystrophy worsened but neuropathy gone
Sep 19, 2005
Greetings Doctor! I am currently on Reyataz, Zerit and Viread after more than 8 years of successful treatment with Crixivan, Videx and Zerit. I have had minor cholesterol and triglyceride flareups but nothing serious. I did develop moderate neuropathy in my legs and hands and my doctor switched me from Videx to Viread 5 months ago. Within a few weeks the neuropathy was minimized and is now non-existent. However, I have experienced a long-term decrease in fat in my legs and arms, with the veins becoming so prominent that I no longer wear shorts in public. My stomach is also distended, but what really bothers me is the increased facial wasting. In previous answers, you have noted that Zerit is often associated with lipo. Is there an alternative that would be effective given my regime? I developed resistance to 3TC years ago but seem to be responsive to other medications. I appreciate the success we have had with keeping me alive, the virus at undetectable levels, and increasing my t-cell count to over 700, but worry about the career effect and social aspects of the lipodystrophy.
Response from Dr. Conway
It is correct that the 2 drugs most associated with lipoatrophy are Crixivan and Zerit. In your case, you are off Crixivan but still on Zerit. Going off it would be great and with an undetectable viral load, it is reasonable to change a single drug in your regimen and leave the rest of the backbone intact. I might think about a change from Zerit to Ziagen (as Epivir cannot be a consideration due to the history of resistance to it), something that would allow you to go to a once daily regimen too.
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