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Viread & Hair Loss
Jun 2, 2006

About a year ago, I switched from Combivir and Sustiva to Viread, Epivir and Sustiva. This was to reverse the lipoatrophy I was experiencing. Have been undetectable and in good health on both combinations. Since the switch, my hair has started thinning to the point where it is quite noticeable. I don't believe it's natural hair loss, as it's not typical male pattern baldness, just a general overall thinning out, which I had never experienced previously. My doctor isn't convinced and possibly attributes it to some previous androgel therapy. However, he is willing to switch the Viread for Abacavir and see if there is an improvement, although he points out a concern for possible sensitivity reaction. His opinion is why switch meds if they're working? Since I haven't seen much improvement in the lipoatrophy and am worried about further hair loss, I believe it's worth a try. Would you recommend a similar course of action?

Response from Dr. Henry

Switching to abacavir for the reasons you outline seems reasonable. Since there is only one switch planned (one new drug) it is relatively straightforward to evaluate you for symptoms possibly attributable to the hypersensitivity reaction (approximately a 5% risk and generally seen within the first 1-2 months of treatment). KH

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