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abacavir excreted in stools

May 18, 2004

dear doctor i am 35; female and hiv + since the last 7 years. my vl and cd4 are well controlled (cd4 > 500; vl < 50). i recently shifted (5 weeks ago) to a combo of abacavir + sustiva + 3tc from an earlier regimen which had a pi (viracept) because of lipidystrophy changes. recently (more than 7 occasions) i have observed that the entire tablet of abacavir is being excreted in my stools. i keep getting diarrhoea on and off for which i do not always take antiboiotics / antiamebics. can i break the tablet and have it? why is this happening -- can u give any probable reasons. i am scared because it is like being on a 2 drug regimen. what should i do ??

Response from Dr. Lee

This is a first for me. I have not heard of Abacavir (Ziagen) passing through whole in the stool. I understand that there are no food restrictions or requirements for dissolving or absorption. Since you have noted it more than once, I suggest that you discuss changing your regimen. As you point out, without the Abacavir absorption you are on a less effective dual rather than triple cocktail.

Be well.

Travelling to Hong Kong and meds
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