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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Switch Epivir to?
Sep 1, 2000

Dear Doctors:

I was infected in January 2000 due to condom failure with initial VL 41,000 and CD4 in mid 300's. Went on Viracept/Ziagen/and Epivir on 3/00 and finally reached undetectable in beginning part of last month (August). My hair (scalp) was thinning anyway but I am now experiencing some more hair loss. More hair is falling out in the shower and on my pillow. I am thinking about switching from Epivir (side effect - hair loss)to another NARTI. Can I just switch one drug at this time? or should I talk to my doctor about Propecia? I know I should not be sooo vain but I do not want to be bald.

Thanks for your time.

Response from Dr. Henry

I have had my attention drawn to that side effect by a number of my patients. 3TC can do it and a switch to either ddI or abacavir might be warranted (they should provide good HIV effect and generally don't overlap 3TC re: hair loss). Making a switch and see what happens makes more sense to me then adding yet another drug to your regimen. Good luck (hair matters!). KH

Keith Henry, M.D.

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