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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Persistent side effects
Sep 16, 2007

Hi Doc, I've been poz since '98, on meds since '02, am presently undetectable with a strong CD4 count but experience near-daily side effects. Nausea is not the correct word since I don't feel sick to my stomach, nor do I experience fatigue. It is more of an entire body feeling of illness, eleviated usually by mild excercise and/or marijuana. I can be feeling ill when I start exercising (I'm a triathlete), feel fine while active, and in a minority of instances, the sick feeling returns about 10 minutes after cessation of exercise. There is no consistency when I experience this side effect - it can happen any time, day or night, and last from 20 minutes to several days. The longest I've ever gone without experience it is about 2 weeks. My doc is at a loss to explain. I'm taking Viramune and Kivexa. Any insights? cheers, Scott

Response from Dr. Henry

Good question. The nucleoside reverse transciptase inhibitors in Kivexa (3TC and abacavir) are usually stomach and mitochondria friendly. Have you had a lactic acid or muscle enzyme level obtained to see if for some reason (?genetic) that you are more susceptible to either the muscle or mitochondrial side effects than is ordinarily seen? If a thourough evaluation (including perhaps a consultation with a sports medicine and/or rheumatology spedialist) finds no clear explanation then you might consider discussing an alternative regimen (such as a double boosted PI regimen) with your HIV specialist on a trial basis to see if your complaints improve off your current regimen. KH

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