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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Pneumonia not killed.
Jul 24, 2013

I have been positive since 1992, lived with t-cells of 7 for 2 years. Right now my T-cells are 264 and VL is undetectable. A short run down on my drugs are acyclovir 800mg, dapsone 25 mg, Truvada, fluconazole 200mg taken 3 days aweek, Selzentry, Isentress, and other meds for lipids and blood pressure. About 6 months ago I started with a producing cough. My Dr. said most likely allergies since he has seen a lot of patents with the same thing. A few weeks later I went to Urgent Care and had some x-rays taken. They found pneumonia in my left lung and I was given Azithromycin and told to have a follow up with my Dr. After 3 weeks I was able to get a follow up with another over flow Dr. He gave me Levaquin 250mg, 2 pills for 10 days. Then I have a follow up with my HIV Dr. 3 weeks later and he gave me a refill of the Levaquin. At that follow up visit he went over my CT scan and said everything looked fine, but still took x-rays. About 3 days later the nurse called me and said I was being referred to a Pulmonary Dr. Who wants to do a bronchoscopy, which I am not in favor of doing. The last visit with my Dr. I told him I felt the pneumonia was not cleared totally and asked for a refill of Levaquin which he wouldn't do. I know the Levaquin was working because the cough stopped and so did the mucus. I am 60 years old, I was a 1 pack a day smoker for 20 years, I know when something isn't right with my body. I still have some wheezing when I lay down and today after taking a nap I woke up and had some pain in the lung area. Is there a dosing limit and that is the reason for my Dr. not wanting to give me a refill? I feel with the time between follow ups, the pneumonia could of become resistant? It is very hard to get in to see my Dr. and see others that don't know my history doesn't help. I just know this isn't cleared up and not getting no help, just tests.

Response from Dr. Henry

Several courses of levofloxacin can be safely used in many patients but the key issues is what is the correct diagnosis=what is causing your symptoms. Viral infections can be chronic and waxing and waning and are not helped by antibiotics. A standard bacterial pneumonia/bronchitis most often doest not need repeated courses of antibiotics. Bronchoscopy often useful to collect washings for culture and staining to try and find the most likely cause. Gastric reflux is a common cause of chronic cough/wheezing so needs to be considered. Needless to say smoking also is a factor in many cases. This forum is focused on side effects of HIV treatment-it seems unlikely that your HIV medications are a major factor with your symptoms. KH

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