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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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Fuzeon
Nov 16, 2005

My husband is an AIDS patient and has been for the last three yearss. About six months ago his vl spiked and seemed to be uncontrollable with the Sustiva/Combivir regimine. His doctor started him on Fuzeon and things went very well very quickly. He was undetectable, had gained a few pounds and was living healthy. This morning I noticed that the last Fuzeon kit that I picked up was still unopened and it had been sitting there since 8/25. I then realized that the box had not even been opened. Then I checked his nightstand and found that 1 full month supply of Fuzeon has not been used and there was also a half of box as well. After the inital shock of realizing that he had not taken his medicine in a month and a half, I became ANGRY. His doctor and I fought the insurance company, medicaid, to pay for this very expensive medication ($30,000/yr) and he is wasting the oppurtunity of a lifetime. Fuzeon gave him his life back for the second time and he is ungreatful. Not only is he robbing himself of a healthy life but he is taking his life away from his family. We were told that Fuzeon was his salvage therapy, and now that he has blown that, where do we go from here? My question to you is how likely is it that he has become resistant to the Fuzeon since he has not taken it for approx 90 days? Since he has not been compliant with this medication, is it possible that the his MCO insurance company will not approve him for another salvage regimine if the price is too high? Does he run the risk of being denied for his current HARRT meds because of this? It is very hard for me not to be angry with him for telling me, in so many words, I want to die. How do I get past the hurt and disappointment that I am feeling? Please help. If there are any support groups or therapist in the Baltimore/Washington area that you may recommend, please include them in your response or forward them to my personal email. Thank you, gray8872

Response from Dr. Henry

His virus may well still be sensitive to Fuzeon. These things happen fairly commonly so it is best to replace anger with supportive determination to assess his current HIV/resistance situation and then consult with his HIV specialist regarding what other options+/- Fuzeon are available. TMC 115, tipranavir, the Pfizer R5 inhibitor and other new drugs are available by prescritpion, expanded access, or studies and can be helpful in patients with resistant virus. KH



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