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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Should I start Viramune if I just had a bad rash from Sustiva?
Nov 3, 2005

I just started taking meds. The doctor put me on Truvada and Sustiva, after 10 days I broke out with a rash that covered most of my chest, stomach, lower back, and random areas of my arms and hands. They stopped taking Sustiva, but now want to put me on Viramune, whic h I heard gives the worst rash and also may cause liver damage. I have the Hep B core antibody Reactive, and ALT level of 79 and ALK Phos. level of 125. Doctor advised me early this year that I had a fatty liver. What should I do about my new regimen of meds? My viral load is at 107 and T-cells at 173.

Response from Dr. Henry

I usually use a boosted protease inhibitor when starting HIV meds for the first time in order to avoid situations like yours. It is important to quickly provide additional coverage to prevent resistance to Sustiva and other drugs in the class. I have used nevirapine with decent results after a Sustiva -related rash but would usually recommend use of Kaletra or ritonavir/Invirase or ritonavir/Lexiva or ritonavir/atazanavir. KH

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