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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Sustiva/Kivexa combo side effects
Jan 5, 2007

Hi. I was recently diagnosed HIV positive in Sept 2006 - my doctor has since prescribed Sustiva and Kivexa commencing 1st Jan 2007. The side effects so far are manageable although I am worried about the level of motion sickness, fatigue, unstable balance and lack of concentration I'm experiencing so far. I have faith that these symptoms will subside eventually. However, they are making me feel "dumb" as I no longer feel as lucid in my thoughts as I used to be. The side effects have affected my performance in the workplace. Will the side effects eventually dissipate? My last CD4 count was 242 and viral load was relatively "low". Are there any statistics to provide reassurance that these side effects will eventually decline?

Many Thanks and Thank You for an excellent online resource!

AD in London

Response from Dr. Henry

The side effect you describe is most likely due to Sustiva. The central nervous system effects of Sustiva often subside/diminish over the first 4 weeks on treatment. Taking the Sustiva at night is often best for many patients. For other patients the dose may be too high resulting in higher blood levels and more toxicity (that problem may be more common in certain groups like African -Americans or in certain patients genetically predisposed). If bothersome symptoms persist then consideration for a switch to nevirapine or a protease inhibitor if often a topic of discussion. KH

Hep B
lower the bilirubin

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