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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Big Belly - Norvir, Reyataz, Truvada
Aug 29, 2007

Hello. I have been taking Norvir, Reyataz, Truvada + SMZ for about 1.5 years now. While I am now undetectable and extremely good health (work out 5 days a week / eat right / no drugs or alcohol) I have a distinctly noticable swollen belly! This is a new aquisition within the past year. I have always had a very muscular and lean torso. Is this side effect a possible result of my medicine regime?? My doctor says it is not, but i can not relate it to anything else! what can i possibly do to stop this huge belly growth?? I am at wits end! Please offer some light on this. Many thanks.

Response from Dr. Henry

Your current regimen has a relatively decent record as far as fat changes in comparison to many other regimens so it may not be easy to simply switch to an alternative regimen and expect/observe improvement. Some subset of patients may be genetically more sensitive to fat effects of a given HIV regimen. Many HIV regimen result in weight gain in the first 1-2 years of use and it often is fat. In some cases it may be fat resulting from a return of your metabolism to a more natural level. If you have HIV- relatives with similar fat distribution then there may be a genetic component. Exercise and diet can help some. Growth hormone or growth hormone releasing factor are under study for decreasing intraabdomial (viseral ) fat seen in the context of HIV treatment. This issue remains frustrating and somethat enigmatic with no easy answers for many patients but still getting lots of attention in the research arena. KH

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