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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Is it REALLY an allergy?
Jul 8, 2001

My question doesn't fit neatly into any of the categories. I'm asking you because it relates to side effects of treatment. I've been HIV+ since 1990, have 26 T-cells and VL >750,000. I've had 2 sinus surgeries in 2 years. I went to see my ENT and was prescribed clindamycin. After about a week of therapy, I got the rash. We treated with Benadryl, stopped the med and after about a week, got resolution. Then we tried augmentin - with the same results. I've never been allergic to either med before. Now he wants to try Levaquin. I'm a little nervous. Isn't it odd to suddenly develop allergies to 2 very different drugs? Is it REALLY an allergy? Is there a distinction between allergy and side effects?

Response from Dr. Bartlett

HIV-infected persons appear to be very susceptible to rashes from many causes, including medications. The rashes you describe may be due to the medications, and if they were, then the symptoms from the rash need to be weighed against the benefits of the antibiotics. Levoquin would be a new class of antibiotics, and therefore I would be hopeful that you would not react.

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