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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Liver failure as side effect of meds
Mar 28, 2008

My partner was rushed to the hospital 4 years ago with bleeding. It was determened he has esophageal bleeding. The Doctor first suggested he was an alcoholic with cirrhosis, but after we discussed his meds he agreed it was a side effect of the medications. He started banding the varicies and has continued to do so, he also used meds to lower the heart rate and blood thinners. It is now to the point that there is no room left for banding. Also I have noticed everytime he blows his nose there is a lot of blood. My partner is looking into a liver transplant, but there are some issues with the insurance approving the transplant. Are there other alternatives?

Thank You.

Response from Dr. Henry

It actually is quite unusual to develop liver failure with cirrhosis/esophageal varices from just HIV meds (more often due to hepatitis C/ B, fatty liver, alcohol effects and other causes). Advanced liver failure with cirrhosis/varices is difficult to treat. There are a number of HIV meds including several newer ones that likely would be effective and likely tolerated in the setting of liver failure but which ones to use depends on treatment history/resistance status et cetera which are factors most HIV specialists are used to dealing with in order to make an individualized treatment recommendation. KH

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