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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Treatment of Urticaria
Jun 2, 2010

Dear Dr. Keith Henry, I have been taking ATRIpla for two years now and since i then i have been having outbreaks of urticaria. These outbreaks normally come before or after my monthly periods. The dermatologist explained that it could be because of the medication or having HIV itself and also certain types of food i eat but it will stop coming eventually. I have been since then been watching what i eat and i have noticed that the outbreaks are less severe when i dont eat certain foods. My CD4 is 400 and viral load is almost undetectable.Now what puzzles me is that i have not had any outbreaks of urticaria since last year october (almost 6 months) and i thought that now its completely gone but in may this year it has started coming again. What could be the explaination for this? what can i do to stop this outbreaks for good? please advise. thanks, Charmu.

Response from Dr. Henry

There could be an atypical interaction between your female hormones and the Atripla. If no other explanation forthcoming and simple treatment not helpful, a trial on an alternative HIV regimen might be worth considering (such as raltegravir or a boosted protease inhibitor for the efavirenz)on a trial basis to observe what happens to your chronic episodic urticaria. KH

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