Dec 17, 2002
In advance, thank you for your response. I have been on Sustiva, Zerit, Epivir and Videx for the past four years and this combo is my initial combo. I am allergic to Ziagen. My counts are a continued VL of 100 or less, CD4 1200 (30) but a continued cholesterol rise and some lipodystrophy. My physician has added Lipitor 20mg and suggest that I might take a break from meds. I would love to give my body a break from the toxicity of the meds but do not want to jeapordize my future. Could you please give me your thoughts on this suggestion. I am very concerned about the lipodystrophy and cholesterol count as I come from a family of Heart Disease. Once again, thank you.
Jon in Kansas City
| Response from Dr. Boyle
The studies that have looked at treatment interruptions indicate that the best predictor of how a person will do is the nadir (lowest) CD4 count they ever had. If your lowest CD4 count was >350, an interruption should be pretty safe; if between 200-350, it may still be safe but you should be monitored very carefully; and if <200 it's probably a bad idea. Balancing potential (or real) toxicities with continued virologic control/immunologic function is sometimes difficult, and each person needs to weight the risks and benefits for themselves. Furhter information about this can be found on this website.
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