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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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PEP Truvada + Isentress
Feb 1, 2011

Hello. I am being prescribed Truvada and Isentress for an occupational needlestick exposure. The source patient was tested HIV negative yet he admitted to having unprotected heterosexual sex within the last six months. Initially I was prescribed combivir and I took that for 4 days. Afterwards I was switched to the Truvada + Isentress combo due to the side effects of the combivir. I have been taking Truvada + Isentress for 7 days. Initially, the side effects were worse than combivir (I felt extremely weak, to the point where I could not move, muscle aches, headaches) but now they have lessened up. At this stage I am more concerned about the side effects of my PEP drugs than the risk of HIV transmission. Even if I am able to deal with the side effects right now, what are the dangers of any long-term side effects even after I discontinue the medications when my month is over.

Will I feel healthy and strong and not weak again? Should I worry about lipid dystrophy, steven johnson's syndrome, anemia, neutropenia, osteopenia, etc etc?

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Henry

In our clinic we generally would not recommend PEP after a needlestick exposure to a px who tested HIV negative and who is at self reported low risk. I would not expect any significant long side effects after a 3-4 week course of raltegravir + Truvada. KH

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