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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
          
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IRS
Nov 2, 2007

I began a new group of medicines in June of this year.

After over 20 years of being positive, and trying every med out there, I never would have believed that I could become undetectable, but it really happened.

With that rapid decline of my viral load, I have been suffering from IRS. I have had painful and swollen lymphnodes as well as most of the area around my groin.

To make certain it was nothing more serious, my doctor removed a lymphnode and had it biopsied. It seems to clearly be IRS.

Since the surgery, my right leg has been swollen and painful as well. Advil seems to help most all of the pain.

Is there a usual time frame for IRS to heal? I have heard 120 days and 6 months. Is it completely dependent on each individual and the severity?

Response from Dr. Henry

The duration of IRIS (immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome) is highly variable. Treatment with various analgesics (including drugs like ibuprofen and sometimes COX-2 inhibitors), a corticosteroid burst, and Rx or suppression of possibly underluing associated infections can be variably helpful. Most patients note improvement over the first 3-4 months in my experience. When a lymph node is removed there can be increased swelling distal to the lymoh node due to interruption in lymph drainage patterns. KH



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