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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Hot flashes
May 11, 2000

I'm taking Viracept, 3TC, 4DT, which caused me to be undetectable & stay undetectable for 3 years. CD4 has risen from 28 to about 450 (13%). I occassionally get hot flashes that might last about 5-10 minutes, & sometimes cause me to break out in a light sweat. It usually passes too quickly to register on a thermometer, but sometimes I get a reading like 101 degrees that soon drops to a normal range.

Could this be caused by medications, or could it be something else?

Response from Dr. Henry

You don't mention whether you are male or female which may impact why you are getting hot flashes. Hormonal imbalances (thyroid, testosterone, female hormones) can cause that. I have had scores of HIV patients relate those type of symptoms to me. I am sure that it is often an HIV effect (along with the effect of the immune system responding to HIV and releasing chemicals sporadically). Infections and tumors that are undiagnosed can also cause that but would seem unlikely in your case. Lastly, your meds could be a cause but there would likely be a pattern that you could identify. I doubt the meds are the cause but I am still learning. Rarely, when I have switched meds around for other reasons patients have reported to me that their hot flashes got better so perhaps it can happen. Keith Henry, M.D.

Peri-gential rash and sweating
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