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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Shift from viramune to...
Jul 9, 2013

Hello Doctor,

I'm a 32 y/o man. CD4: 350 / VL: undetectable. My medication regimen is: viramune, 3tc and Viread. I take this regimen for 3 years and I am having some unpleasant side effects due to viramune. I wonder if I could replace viramune and maintain 3TC and Viread to my regimen.

My biggest fear is lipodystrophy and facial lipoatrophy, so I'd like to replace viramune by a medication that is not related to this side effect.I'd like to know what medication you think it could be then.

Thank you for reading my question. Greetings from Argentina, Pedro

Response from Dr. Henry

Nevirapine actually usually looks pretty good regarding risk for lipodystrophy compared to other HIV drugs though good study comparing nevirapine to contemporary regimens are minimal since nevirapine getting much new use in US/Europe/Australia/Canada where many studies are done. I have little confidence that I can recommend an alternative to nevirapine that would for sure help matters. In older studies with nevirapine much of the fat problems may have been due to the AZT or D4T that nevirapine was used with. Unclear what your unpleasant side effects are that you attribute to nevirapine (usually well tolerated if or problems after first several months on the drug). A drug that might replace nevirapine in the US would be raltegravir (an integrase inhibitor) that appears to be one of the more fat friendly drugs but whether it would be better than nevirapine overall or in your case is uncertain to me-sorry I cant be more specific or helfpul. KH

left leg toe paining, burning and not able to walk,
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