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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Aching Legs
Apr 21, 2006

I was diangosed HIV+ Jan. 9 and started meds (Sustiva and either Epzicom or Truvada--I'm in a study) on April 10. About the third night I noticed some burning on the tops of my feet and tingling in my hands and arms. This has somewhat subsided but about 6 days into the meds I started having some aching in my legs. This aching often wakes me in the night and keeps me awake. I have also started noticing the aching during the day, particularly when I'm sitting. I did not have this issue prior to meds. It is not like a muscle ache, it is like a deeper ache. Any ideas/suggestions on handling/reducing the aching? Thanks so much!

Response from Dr. Henry

Your aching limbs could be due to early effects of Sustiva or sometimes the 3TC (in Epzicom) or FtC (in Truvada) among other considerations. If it is Sustiva related it may well diminish over time. A neurologic evaluation is often helpful to sort out if you have any evidence for either peripheral neuropathy, vascular, or other extremity conditions. The first weeks on therapy can see all sorts of issues due to new chemicals coursing around in the body and immune reconstitution effects. Some form of analgesia is often used for a while to give symptomatic relief to help with sleeping and daily activities. If neuropathy is diagnosed there are number of drugs that are variable helpful for that condition. KH

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