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Dizzy from Efavirenz

May 11, 2000

I've been on a combination of Combivir & Efavirenz for 3 months and am very happy with the results: Viral Load has gone from >75,000 to <40 & T4 have increased from 180 to 431. So I am not looking to change this cocktail. However I am still suffering from Dysphoria. Some days are ok but other days it is dangerous for me to leave the house. My doctor doesn't want me to cut down the Efavirenz dosage (I don't really want to) but we aren't really getting anywhere in controlling my dizziness. Any suggestions would be really appreciated. Mark

Response from Dr. Pavia


Side effects that persist for 3 months can be tough to get rid of, as opposed to those you have in the first few weeks. If you haven't already tried it, try moving your efavirenz dose up in the evening perhaps to dinner time, or even earlier. That tends to shift the highest blood concentrations into the night when you are sleeping. You can try increasing your fluid intake, cutting down on alcohol and caffeine, and see if those help as well. Don't cut the dose down based on what we know so far. If all else fails, you could consider switching the efavirenz to nevirapine. In someone who has already responded, there is an extremely high chance your viral load will remain undetectable.

Andrew T. Pavia, M.D.

Genotype Test Not Conclusive
Switching regimen Combivir to Epivir and Zerit

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