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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Loose stools, acne and hair fall.
Mar 18, 2011

Dear Doc,

Just started meds on Feb 15. Used to feel dizzy for about 2 weeks. its gone. The only side effect is that I get very loose stools first thing in the morning. Other times in the day, if i do have stools, its normal. (i generally just have stools once a day, in the mornin) I take my meds ( Trustiva) just before bed. Does it mean i am suffering from dirreah? if yes, pls advise what can I do to stop this.

Also from the time i started the meds, i am experiencing black heads / acne (not severe) on my cheeks jaws and fore head. Pls advise. My dermatologist has adivsed Retino A for the acne.

Am also experiencing quite a lot hair doc has recommended an IRON suppiment and FOLLIHAIR for 3 months. Is it ok for me to take iron suppliments?

Thank you in advance for your time and help.

Response from Dr. Henry

I have encountered a modest number of patients who appear to have loose stools from the tenofovir in Trustiva (Atripla in US). Looking for other causes for loose stools is still worthwhile if persistent or worsening. For some patients, increasing fiber in diet, looking for lactose deficiency, and judicious use of drugs like loperamide or diphenoxylate/atropine can help some patients. I have also observed flare ups of acne and other skin problems in the months after starting effective HIV meds in some patients (part of immune reconstitution for some patients and return to oil production in dry skin due to HIV infection). I have also noted that some patients may note increased hair loss sometimes from the emtricitabine in the Trustiva. Many other conditions including vitamin deficiences, other skin condition, hormone imbalances, other other diseases (like syphilis) can cause hair loss and may need to be checked for. KH

Missed doses
Atripla. Nipples. Gynecomastia?

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