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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Nov 7, 2009

I have a lot of pressure in both ears. The right ear especially feels full and congested and gets a burning feeling inside and in the far back of my throat. I am also getting severe headaches on and off. Some light congestion in nasal passages also. So far I have been diagnosed by an ENT doctor as having a sinus infection. I took Amoxicllin 875mg for 2 weeks and nothing improved. My ID doctor said it was a middle ear infection. He started me on Levaquin which made this problem improve, but I felt severe muscle aches as a side effect. I then stoped this and the ID doctor gave me ZPack. Again, nothing improved. I went to another ENT doctor who said it was not an infection or cancer. He asked me if I had a lot of stress at work and said it was my muscles which were tense around my ear. He gave me valium. And still I have the same problem. This has been going on for over 2 months. I am in pain. I was diagnosed positive 7/07 abd started HAART right after. I take Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada. I dont know what else to do.

Response from Dr. Henry

Unlikely due to your HIV meds though I have seen several patients over the years who seemed to develop a neuropathy in the ears due to possible lamivudine or emtricitabine. Seeing a neurologist might be useful.. If the problem persists with no answers it may be worth discussing with your HIV specialist whether a switch in your HIV regimen should be considered. Since the problem started after two years on your HIV regimen it seems unlikely but still possible that one of your HIV drugs is contributing. KH

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