|Side Effects: How mild is mild?
Jan 12, 2012
Hello Keith and big thanks to everyone at TheBody.com from Down Under.. Ive been HIV+ 2 years and on treatment with Atripla with good results so far (undetectable VL / CD4 1000+) i've tolerated Atripla well apart from what i thought were 'tolerable' and 'expected' side effects ie: vivid dreams, dry mouth and diahorrea. but my new HIV Doctor has questioned this by saying my long-term goal should be treatment with zero side effects. I was rattled by this as I didn't realise this was even an option. He suggested finding a treatment combination that would be equally effective without the side effects of Atripla (these would not be a single pill) . I guess my question is have we really reached a point yet where we can expect effective treatment free from side effects? and if so, is it risky to interrupt my Atripla treatment in search of better ones?
| Response from Dr. Henry
The goal would be to find a convenient (once or twice a day) and well tolerated regimen for each person needing HIV treatment. Mild and/or intermittent side effects impact persons in different ways--for some-no big deal. For others, depending on frequency and character of side effects, the quality of life can be adversely impacted so a trial switch to an alternative regime is worth considering. No regimen is a good fit for every patient so it is a good situation to have numerous options. Two years of Atripla with persistent possible efavirenz side effects merits consideration of a trial switch (? to alternative NNRTI such as nevirapine or rilpivirine, to a boosted PI such as atazanavir or darunavir, to raltegravir, possibly to maraviroc, or even to an investigational regimen if studies are available --such as the QUAD pill). The choice can be highly individualized.KH
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