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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Headache - treatment failure
Jan 16, 2006

I have been on sustiva/truvada for about 6 months, and I am starting to get up in the mornings a bit more tired and with a headache - almost like a hangover? Does this sound like a medicine related side effect? I have had perfect adherence - I mean i take the pills between 10 mins to an hour difference on some days - but i have never missed a dose. My doctor said that that wasnt a problem because the half lives for the drugs are long enough that they stay in your system for long periods of time. I am just worrie. is it possible that my headaches could be caused because I might be having treatment failure? The last time i went to the doctor, my vl was undetetcable and my cd4 were 300. the doctor said i was responding well to the medication. What are your thoughts? Do you think I am experiencing the first signs of treatment failure? Do you think my headaches are a sign of treatment failure? I am so frightenend. Please respond.

Response from Dr. Henry

Headaches are very common in the general population and can be tough to categorize and treat. Headaches would rarely by a sign of treatment failure in situations such as yours. Sustiva can cause a hangover like effect in some patients with headache. Switching to morning dosing or to an alternative to the Sustiva for a trial period are options that are sometimes considered if there is no other clear explanation for the headaches. KH

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