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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Sustiva question
Dec 28, 2005

Hi, I've started sustiva + truvada 5 days ago. The first nigth was really bad for me, feeling disociated, paranoid, depressed, etc. I thought I'd give it another try and next nights were better (almost no effect at all, just deeper sleep than usual probably). I'm having a problem during the day though, I have a weird feeling that lasts up to noon at least of my head being heavy and my brain slow. I'm a soft. engineer and need to be pretty sharp during the day. I read cases getting better and other getting worse, so not sure what to do ... I'm thinking on giving it some days before call it quit, I'm pretty meds naive so far. I'm thinking is it worth it to go through all this to get less pills? My husband is on Kaletra + combivir and doing great. Are there any effects of sustiva on the brain regarding HIV suppresion or something else that makes it more worth it?

Response from Dr. Henry

For most patients the Sustiva effect on the brain/thinking/sleep will diminish more and more over the first 4 weeks. A significant minority of patients will have persistent annoying problems out past 4 weeks (studies often note problems in 10-20% after 4 weeks). Sustiva is a very good and simple drug for many patients (penetration into the brain is good relative to many of the protease inhibitors). KH

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