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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Tinnitus a HAART side-effect?
Aug 16, 2001

I've been on 3TC/D4T/Nevirapine for 18 months with very good results (<50 for 12 months, now 1076 CD4s, 40). But I've had quite bad tinnitus since about 2 months after starting treatment. Could this be HAART related? I started anti-depressants at exactly the time the tinnitus started and for a while I thought they might have caused it, but I've been off a-ds for a very long time now and no lessening of the tinnitus. Thanks for your help. S

Response from Dr. Boyle

Tinnitus is certainly not a common side effect of the antiretrovirals you're on, but an idiosyncratic reaction is still possible. I presume you've had a thorough workup for causes of tinnitus (e.g., ear disorders, cardiovascular disease, anemia, hypothyroidism, other medications) by this point and that it was negative. The next step depends on how much it bothers you. Stopping the medications and observing for resolution of the tinnitus is reasonable if it is particularly annoying. While there is no specific treatment, some patients have benefited from playing background music or a tinnitus masker.

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