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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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I recently changed from Fortovase to Norvir plus Invirase along with combivir and got a rash
May 29, 2006

Hi. I had been on a combo of Fortovase and Combivir for the last 8 years and had done extremely well. Now that Fortovase is no longer being manufactured, I was switched to a combo of Norvir/Invirase along with the Combivir. I developed a rash (bright red spots on inner arms, torso and tops of legs, no itch) that is very unsightly but not bothersome. Have seen a dermatologist who started me on antihistamines. The spots have now (1.5 wks later) sort of turned into a mottled areas. Is it likely a drug reaction? Why after all this time as Fort. and Invir. are the same drug? Is it likely to subside with current treatment or is something else more effective? Thanks

Response from Dr. Henry

You could be having some sort of reaction to the ritonavir (Norvir) or the higher levels of saquinavir seen when Invirase is used with Norvir (as compared to Fortavase). There is also a greater likelihood of a drug or chemical interaction between the Norvir and other drugs/chemicals metabolized by the liver. In most cases your current regimen is reasonably well tolerated so waiting a bit longer and treating with anti-histamines is a reasonable approach to consider. KH

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