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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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BP cannot be controlled
Jan 24, 2006

My doctors and I have been trying to control my BP since I was diagnosed in '98. I am seeing a nephrologist who has me taking almost 9 pills a day just for BP. I am taking Sustiva and Epzicom. My BP meds are Coreg 2 x's a day 25mg, Norvasc 2 x's a day 10mg, Avalide once a day 12.5mg, Accupril 2 x's a day 40mg and until recently Clonidine 2 x's a day 0.1mg. I'm tired of taking all these meds and my BP is still on average 137/100. I am African American. I'm worried about having a stroke, but I eat right and excercise 4 x's a week. What should I do? Should I tell my HIV doctor to consider changing my meds since my BP was normal before I started my regimine?

Response from Dr. Henry

I have not seen data that links either Sustiva or Epzicom to marked increases in blood pressure but there perhaps could be some genetic or individual predisposition. Hypertension itself can be a real challenge to treat in the general population independent of HIV-related issues. Epzicom seems particularly unlikely to trigger uncontrolled hypertension so maybe a trial switching the Sustiva to a suitable alternative (if one exists) could be considered on a trial basis though chances for that to help seem modest. KH

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