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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Lipids through the roof on Sustiva & Celexa
Oct 27, 2001

I started Sustiva 11 months ago, and it's effect on vl has been miraculous. However, my lipids have since gone through the roof, especially since I started Celexa end March 2001 (my HIV specialist told me he had never seen such high lipid numbers in anyone on Sustiva). I started Pravachol with minimmal effect. My doctors have recently taken me off Celexa, but my cholesterol is double the max, and trigylcerides are still 4X max. (I'm in Canada, so the numbers are measured differently than the USA). My diet is pretty sensible, so my doctors are puzzled by what has happeend. I will go off Pravachol today, and start Lipidil in a week. Any input would be most appreciated!

Response from Dr. Henry

Some folks are seemingly predisposed to have high lipid levels that might be aggravated by some of the HIV drugs. You don't mention what other HIV meds you are on. Pravachol often is not a potent enought statin-I have had better success with atorvastatin. Often a fibrate (such as gemfibrozol or fenofibrate) will be more helpful at reducing the triglycerides. There is a slow-release form if niacin that also is often helpful. Talking to a dietician and exercising more can also be of value. Good luck. KH


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