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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Persistent Daily Headache and HIV meds
Nov 18, 2011

I have been HIV+ for over 20 years. Currently on regimen of lexiva, norvir, truvada. Also take acyclovir and lexapro for anxiet/depression. Viral load undectable, CD4 count 800. Past 4 years have developed daily headaches that never go away - last anywhere from several days to 3 months. Have had 2 MRIs - both negative. Neurologist diagnosed as persistent daily headache and increased lexapro from 10mg to 15mg/day. Is there any correlation with headaches and either HIV or meds? These headaches can be very debilatating.

Response from Dr. Henry

Headaches are very common in general population and often a challenge to both diagnose and effectively manage. Headaches may be even more common in HIV + patients due to variety of factors including chronic strss/depression/posture problems, nerve/central nervous system complications, side effects of HIV medications (latter often very hard to pin down in setting of multiple medications and low rate of headaches from any single medication). Generally no single cause dominates in HIV+ persons dong OK on HIV treatment so management often a challenge. KH

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