Mar 5, 2006
I've been pos for 13 years and am treatment experienced. All the meds I've been through, all three classes, have produced the whole range of gastrrointestinal side effects that have effected my quality of life. What are the realities of side effects? Is this going to be a suck it up situation for the rest of my life? I have taken all the typical suplements and recieved poor to zero results. I'm 30 years old and this has been an experience I wouldn't consider an enjoyable life. Are there any tests that can find out why the side effects are so prevalent in some yet not others? Reality: take the meds! Many of us are aware of this, but are there any other options?
Response from Dr. Henry
There can be a range of underlying medical conditions impacting the GI tract (such as gluten or lactose deficiency, irritable bowel syndrome, undiagnosed infections, etc) making it hard for patients to tolerate a wide range of meds. Some patients (a small minority in my experience--less then 5%) seem to have their Stomach/gut bothered by almost any HIV medication they take. Depending on the symptoms sometimes medication can be given for the GI side effects. There are an increasing # of HIV meds available which have less GI side effects than many of the prior medications and more on the way. An HIV specialist (often working with a GI doctor) is the best person to try and find the right approach for individual patients. KH
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