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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Sustiva - manic depression?
Mar 7, 2009

Hi. I have been taking Sustiva in combination with other two meds for almost 8 years, adherence is great, viral load for 8 years undetectable and CD4 swinging from 450-1000. However, I have being diagnosed manic depressive but I am not sure of that. I know I have never being the bright and shinny type of person, but more in the depressive side, however, I feel extremely depressed most of the days now for the last year. I have never read side effects of the medications (because I tend to develop them if I know what can happen) until now when a friend told me that it could be Sustiva. Could the Sustive side effect be developing the symptoms of manic depression? I have talked to the doctor's assistant and have an appointment with the doc next week, I just want an opinion. Thanks from Amsterdam. M

Response from Dr. Henry

Sustiva can aggravate pre-existing psychiatric problems but rarely cause them directly. The only way to know for sure is to switch off to an alternative med (such as a boosted protease inhibitor or raltegravir) on a trial basis (ie 3 months) and observe how you do if that is an option in your situation after a discussion with your HIV doc. Not much data or experience has noted with new onset significant psychiatric problem caused by Sustiva after many years of stable/successful Sustiva use. KH

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