Dec 16, 2007
what are the side effects of atripla
Response from Dr. Henry
The Body website has a good section discussing the side effects of each of the antiretroviral medications and many links. www.AIDSinfonet.org is one good source for drug information. Their discussion of the side effects of Atripla is posted below:
What Are the Side Effects? When you start any ART, you may have temporary side effects such as headaches, high blood pressure, or a general sense of feeling ill. These side effects usually get better or disappear over time.
The most common side effects of Atripla are the same as with the drugs it contains: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir. They include headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, vivid dreams, anxiety, rash, dizziness, insomnia, and loss of appetite.
About 5% of patients taking efavirenz had serious psychiatric symptoms. If you are taking Atripla and experience serious depression or other psychiatric symptoms, talk to your health care provider right away.
If you have had hepatitis B or C, your liver function tests may increase significantly. These should be monitored carefully.
Studies in monkeys showed that efavirenz is likely to cause birth defects. Pregnant women should not take Atripla, especially during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
People who take Atripla may falsely test positive for marijuana use. To prove that the results are false, you would have to identify the drug that you are taking. This would mean disclosing that you have HIV infection.
In my experience the stomach side effects of zidovudine and the brain side effects of efavirenz are the major problems patients experience with Atripla. Those symptoms are usually worst soon after starting the medication and tend to taper for most over the first 2-4 weeks.
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