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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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So tense! Could it be Atripla?
Sep 3, 2010

I have been on Atripla for 2 years...Undetected VL, CD4- 700 and above. No vivid dreams! Just occasional problems sleeping at night. However, I have the most horrible time concentrating while driving. I can barely drive at 40 MPH on a highway and feel like the car is moving to my left. At times I literally start shaking, which only makes the situation worse. I usually take Atripla at bedtime (10:00pm - 11:00pm). Lack of concentration is worse at 5 - 6pm when I am driving back from work. I have totally hated to drive a car. I don't like to complain but there is certainly something wrong somewhere. Also, I feel so tense on my jaws and lower teeth...I sometimes unconsciously find my tongue pushing hard on my lower teeth. It is worse when I drive and I have opted to chew gum as I drive. I am seeing my doctor in a couple of weeks to talk about this. But was wondering if other people have reported similar concerns or if I need to get back to learn how to drive! By the way, I used to do 65 - 70 MPH on the highway. Has never been had any traumatic experiences driving...and all over sudden I behave like a Zombie on the road. Any help!

Response from Dr. Henry

Stress or other mental health problems can result in symptoms as you describe. In a minority of patients the efavirenz in Atripla may cause persistent or aggravated mental health symptoms/problems. You may want to discuss with your HIV doc and possibly consider switching the efavirenz to an alternative drug (such as raltegravir, nevirapine, or a boosted protease inhibitor) depending on past treatment history and the likelihood that efavirenz may be a factor. KH

Good News re: Atripla Rash
PEP Meds again!!

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