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Welchol and HIV meds
Aug 11, 2010

Dear Dr. Henry, I have recently been prescribed Welchol. It lowers cholesterol, glucose levels and bulks up stools and has been wonderful for curing my diarrhea. The brochure from the drug company says to take any vitamins at least 4 hours before taking Welchol as it may bind to them and not allow absorption into the body. My question is, what about HIV meds and Welchol. Should I avoid Welchol around the times I dose? I take Intellence, Norvir, Truvada and Prezista and have few options left so I don't want to blow it. Can you help with some information? Thanks, J

Response from Dr. Henry

Good question. I am unaware of any formal study evaluating the interaction of Welchol with protease inhibitors. There is at least a theoretic concern that a binding resin may impair absorption of HIV meds so that common sense would suggest dosing the Welchol separately from your HIV meds (by several hours). Monitoring HIV levels after several weeks/months of concurrent dosing should relieve concern about a negative effect if HIV levels remains fully suppressed. If any reader knows of a drug interaction study please post. KH

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