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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Trouble sleeping/nausea/dizziness on new cocktail
Sep 25, 2001

2 weeks ago I switched Crix and Norvir (which I tolerated quite well), for Kaletra, Ziagen, and Sustiva, while continuing on Zerit and 3TC. While some days seem to be better than others, and taking with lots of food helps, I still suffer dizziness and confusion, and trouble concentrating. I've been on a number of different regimens since 1985, but side effects have never been this extreme or long-lasting. The worst is trying to get to sleep: (Sustiva?) Will Kava Kava or melatonin help, and is there any reason not to take these or other? I am lucky not to be working while adapting to these drugs, but will soon have to start again. Any data on whether or not I can be sure these effects will subside, and if so, in how long? Thanks, David.

Response from Dr. Boyle

The side effects you are describing are probably related to efavirenz (Sustiva/Stocrin); however, the other medications may be exacerbating them. In general, efavirenz side effects last a few days to a few weeks and then remit. For tips on how to manage these side effects see I would stick with the regimen for now, but if the side effects are so severe that you cannot tolerate them further or if they persist, you should discuss alternative regimens with your doctor. As an aside, you should be on 4 Kaletra (rather than 3) twice daily while on efavirenz.

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