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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Jul 5, 2006

It has been stated that people suffering from neuropathy should try Lyrica for this. But I have also read that this medication can in some cases causes a reduction in lyphmocytes. Wouldn't this be a dangerous drug for someone with HIV???

Response from Dr. Conway

The approach to neuropathy in the setting of HIV infection is to first make sure that it truly is neuropathy and not something else that requires a specific treatment of its own. Then, if it is neuropathy, to make sure it is not caused by some treatable disease (such as thyroid problems or B12 deficiency, for example) or some pressure on the nerve that could be relieved. Then, it is important to take away any factors that could make it worse, such as didanosine or stavudine. Then, if it needs treatment, the best thing is to try non-narcotic medications, that may include Lyrica. This is a GREAT specific treatment for neuropathic pain. The reduction in lymphocytes is rare and completely reversible if it occurs, so it is not dangerous even in the setting of HIV infection as long as proper monitoring is in place. Lyrica offers us another excellent non-narcotic, non-addictive alternative for the treatment of neuropathy.

fear of HIV

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