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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Atripla depression or me
Mar 28, 2009

I was on various anti depressants for about 15 years. I eventually stopped the anti depressants and felt fine enough without them for about 2 years. I just recently started taking atripla and feel depressed and sad again. However, I really can't say it's the drug since circustances in my life have turned. Having to take medication in itself brought me to full realization that I have HIV. I was in denial previously and believed I would be one of those few that would have good numbers eternally. Also I recently lost my job and went through a break up. Should i stay on the atripla and just get on anti depressants again? Do depression side effects like other side effects subside over time on atripla?



Response from Dr. Henry

Good question. Some patients taking Atripla will have underlying depression unmasked or flare up due to the efavirenz. Some of the alternative HIV regimens (such as a boosted protease inhibitor or raltegravir) do not seem to have as much a problem in that regard as efavirenz so a switch is a consideration depending on resistance status/past treatment history. A mental health evaluation and use of a previously helpful or new anti-depressant is often helfpul in this setting usually allowing a patients to continue Atripla. KH

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