Feb 13, 2006
I've been HIV positive for 23+ years and was diagnosed with AIDS in 1992. Even before HIV I always had a difficult time with antibiotics causing rashes. My current regimen of drugs, all of which I've been on for at least 1 year, are Viracept, Truvada, Sustiva (3 - 200mg) Levoxyl, Acyclovir, Carnitor, Prevacid, Zyrtec, Xanax (1 at bedtime),Prednisone (7.5 mg a day), Lipram CR 20 (1-3 per meal), Androgel and Serostim (3 mg daily). My CD4 count has basically been under 200 for the last 14 years and is sometimes below 100. My last test came back at 96. Recently I was on a 15 day course of Cipro for a sinus infection (5 days at 500mg, 5 days at 750mg and a final 5 days at 500mg). A week after finishing the Cipro I quite suddenly developed red, itchy skin and the day after that started 14 days of Diflucan for esophageal thrush. My derm doctor thinks the photosensitivity was caused by the Cipro even though I had been off of it for a week. I'm still experiencing it a month later. He also thinks I have eczema due to the dry weather we've been experiencing in southern Calif this winter. I take benadryl each night and the redness and itching are usually reduced in the morning but in the afternoon the redness and itching start up again. I don't spend a lot of time in the sun...just driving, running errands, etc. I don't sunbath or garden.
Is it possible that the Cipro caused the photosensitivity and that it would continue even after treatment stopped?
Thanks for any help you can offer. Rob
Response from Dr. Conway
It is certainly possible. Rashes due to medications can develop as late as 10-14 days after the medication has been stopped. This being said, it sounds as if your skin condition is a complicated one, that may be due at least in part to eczema. Another thing to consider to explain your skin reaction that has nothing to do with a reaction to the drug is fungal infection. It may be that the use of antibiotics reduced the number of "good" bacteria on your skin and allowed the fungus to emerge. This is particularly true for people with lower CD4 counts, such as yours. This is yet another reason for us to use antibiotics only when they are absolutely needed.
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