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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
          
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What are the effects
Dec 6, 2006

What are the effects of drugs on your brain and body

Response from Dr. Henry

The most important effect of antiretroviral drugs on the brain is protection of the brain from HIV. Penetration into the brain varies from drug to drug but as a general rule if the level of HIV in the blood drops significantly then there is also a decrease in the amount of virus in the CSF/brain/central nervous system. The one commonly used HIV drug that has the most prominent brain side effects is efavirenz (Sustiva in US) which can cause weird dreams and other side effects particularly in the first 4 weeks. In the US there are over 20 HIV drugs available in countless combinations so the expected side effect profile varies widely depending ont he patient and regimen used. HIV specialists are used to discussing the effects of particular combinations with their patients. KH



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