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Adding Ritonavir to my regimen

Nov 5, 2001

I have been taking Crixivan & Combivir since 1997 (never taken anything else).

My doctor has mentioned a few times to me about adding reitonavir to my regimen and this would mean only taking crixivan twice daily, and as well there are no issues with what I eat before & after taking my meds.

My viral load has been undetectable since I started taking meds and as well my cd4 has risen from 172 (from the start) to 999 from my last bloodwork done last month.

I am considering adding Ritonavir but I am worried that it may affect my viral load & CD4 or I may experience side effects which to date my only side effects have been very dry lips and one bout with Kidney Stones.

I now live a very active life including being gainfully employed and would like to know if you could provide me any information on potential side effects etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Boyle

You have done extremely well with your indinavir regimen and adding ritonavir is a tough issue. It will make the regimen simpler, but it may also be associated with increased side effects. As a result of the side effects (which are mostly gastrointestinal in nature), one study (BEST) recently showed that more patients may stop or fail the regimen once ritonavir is added. I suspect that you are very used to taking the inidinavir three times a day on an empty stomach, and unless you feel some need to change, I probably wouldn't urge your to do so. If you do feel you might benefit from the change, consider trying it, with a quick change back to your old regimen if you run into tolerance issues.

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