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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Minor neuropathy before taking Atripla...
Jul 19, 2009

I developed a very annoying but fairly mild neuropathy in my toes/feet a few months ago but pretty much ignored it due to what I thought was my good health. Routine bloodwork diagnosed me as Poz in late May and almost immediately the neuropathic properties spread to my fingers/hands and even occasionally the trunk of my body. (Stress/Anxiety, anyone!?!) My CD4 count was under 100 but viral load only 50,000 or so but I immediately started Atripla and Bactrim and Azithromycin.

So, my question: 5 weeks on Atripla as of today with perfect adherence. In addition to the prophylactic drugs, I take Xanax 1.0 mg twice a day to help with nerves (and it seems to help the neuropathy a bit) but would like any ideas on how to proceed. Neurologist? Psych? I live in New Orleans and we're still a bit understaffed in the medical field here even though I have a great HIV specialist at a local hospital...he's just too busy to see me most of the time. My next appointment isn't until mid August.

My stress/anxiety level remains very high. Unfortunately, it's a family trait!

Even though I've become perhaps a bit of cyberchondriac in reading the forums, it's a great site and I thank you!

Response from Dr. Henry

HIV-related and treatment related peripheral neuropathy generally begins in the toes/feet so the condition you describe localized to the hands is most likely some other condition (could be cervical nerve being pinched, carpal tunnel, anxiety, or many other possibilities). Discussing with your HIV doc and/or a neurologist seems very reasonable. KH

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