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Extreme Nausea, weight loss and ddI
Jun 29, 2000

I have been taking DDI (Videx,100mg tablets), Zerit (estavudina,400 mg capsules) and Viracept (Nelfinavir) for over 4.5 months now. The viral load went down from 65000 to undetectable and CD4 from 350 to 410 in this period. The main side effects have been bloating (it was more comfortable not to eat, but it was bearable) and diarrhea (solved with Tums). However, over 5 weeks ago I started to suffer from extreme nausea to food, tooth paste, smells, etc, up to the point I have lost over 8 lbs in 5 weeks. The nausea has become more severe as time goes by up to the point that last Friday I had paid leave for a week because I couldn't function well anymore. I have read all you have published if this forum regarding nausea and I am suspicious of ddI. With my doctor permission I took a drug holiday over the weekend. Following previous advice from you I have taken a battery of tests in the past week that may help to clarify my case.

First, the Glutamic acetic transaminase and piruvic transaminase, are both twice the normal level pointing to hepatitis; however, I tested negative to Hepatitis B or C. Gastroscopy revealed no H. Pylori or ulcers. Ultrasound showed a normal liver and there is no history of pancreas malfunctioning. Likewise, a test showed no sign of lactic acidosis (blood ph in normal range). Another piece of information is that the uric acid turned out to be high (8.5 mg/dl) but I hardly eat meat at all because I have history of kidney stones. Finally, I know am allergic to lactose, hence, I do not eat dairy products.

I have been taking Cimetidina shots and gramicentron (on IV solution) to ease the nausea for the past 3 days. Quitting the meds has allowed me to eat, but even today I feel nausea after eating. After this preview, two questions:

1. Could that be possible the meds cause hiperuricemia and that in turn produce nausea?

2. My hepatitis seems to be meds induced, am I wrong?

3. If ddI is the cause of nausea (there was change in the formulation about 5 weeks ago when symptoms started), what would be the appropriate way to handle this? A change in the meds?.

Please guide me in this, I can't continue like this.

Best regards,


Response from Dr. Henry

Were you able to tolerate OK the prior ddI formulation?? If so is that formulation still available to you? If not have you tried the pediatric powder mixed with commercial Maalox once a day?? IF you can't tolerate ddI then a switch to a different NRTI would be in order (depending on your prior treatment history and tolerance). Keith Henry, M.D.

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