Mar 8, 2000
HI! I'VE BEEN POSITIVE FOR 6 YEARS,AND LAST WEEK I WAS TOLD THAT I'M NOW A DIABETIC BECAUSE OF VIRACEPT ONE OF THE MEDS I TAKE FOR HIV, I JUST WANT TO KNOW IS IT POSSIBLE. AND IF SO,I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BE TOLD.AND ALSO WILL IT MAKE EITHER ONE WORSE OR HOW WILL THE MEDS INTERACT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.
Response from Dr. Henry
Diabetes is common in the regular population so it often is not clear what the contribution of the protease inhibitors is. People with a family history of diabetes may be pre-disposed. Viracept, like the other protease inhibitors, has been linked to the development of diabetes but actually at a lower rate than many of the other drugs in the class. Diet, weight loss, exercise and either oral hypoglycemic drugs or insulin are the mainstays of treatment. Those treatments usually are well tolerated by persons with HIV on HIV meds. If your HIV doc and/or an endocrinologist feel that the Viracept is a key contributor to your diabetes the question comes up whether you should change HIV drugs. The answer to that relates partly to your past treatment history. In my experience some patients see improvement when they switch HIV drugs but that is a highly individualized decision between you and your HIV specialist.
Keith Henry, M.D.
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