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Meet the HIV Medications

Part of HIV Medications: When to Start and What to Take

December 2010

Picture & Name of MedicationDosage NotesSide Effects & Interactions
Multi-Class Combos
AtriplaAtripla
(combination of Sustiva + Viread + Emtriva)
Taken once daily; take on an empty stomach or with a light snack
  • Don't take with Combivir, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Sustiva, Trizivir, Truvada or Viread
  • First pill to contain an entire regimen (meds from two drug classes, NNRTIs and NRTIs)
  • Possible side effects and other warnings*: see Emtriva, Sustiva and Viread
NNRTIs
IntelenceIntelence
(TMC125, etravirine)
Taken twice daily; take with food
  • Don't take with Rescriptor, Sustiva, Viramune, any Norvir-boosted PI, or any of the following boosted PIs: Aptivus, Lexiva and Reyataz
  • May interact with a number of HIV meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor)
  • Possible side effects*: allergic reaction (may be severe, but very rarely), cold-like symptoms, diarrhea, elevated liver enzymes, headache, nausea, rash
RescriptorRescriptor
(DLV, delavirdine)
Taken thrice daily; take with or without food, but not with grapefruit juice
  • May interact with a number of HIV meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor), including some statins, blood pressure drugs, male sexual enhancement drugs, allergy nasal sprays, antacids and birth control pills
  • Possible side effects*: allergic reaction (may be severe) body fat changes, diarrhea, elevated liver enzymes, fatigue, headache, itchy skin, nausea, rash, vomiting
SustivaSustiva
(EFV, efavirenz)
Taken once daily; take on an empty stomach, preferably at bedtime
  • Don't take with Atripla
  • Don't take when pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you may become pregnant
  • May cause false-positive results on marijuana tests
  • May make PIs less effective, requiring doctors to increase their dosage
  • May interact with a number of non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor)
  • Possible side effects*: depression, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, increased HDL cholesterol, increased liver enzymes, increased trigycerides, insomnia, memory loss, strange dreams, trouble concentrating
ViramuneViramune
(NVP, nevirapine)
Available in once- or twice-daily doses; no food restrictions
  • Don't take with Reyataz or the supplement St..John's wort
  • Shouldn't be used by women with T-cell count over 250, men with T-cell count over 400
  • Approved as a twice-a-day drug, though some doctors prescribe it once a day
  • May make PIs less effective, requiring doctors to increase their dosage
  • May interact with a number of non-HIV meds (check with your doctor), including birth control pills
  • Possible side effects*: fever, headache, liver problems (may be severe), nausea, rash (may be severe), vomiting
NRTIs
CombivirCombivir
(combination of Epivir + Retrovir)
Available in twice- or thrice-daily doses; no food restrictions
  • Don't take with Atripla, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, Trizivir, Truvada or Zerit
  • Possible side effects*: anemia, muscle damage, neutropenia; also see Epivir and Retrovir
EmtrivaEmtriva
(FTC, emtricitabine)
Taken once daily; no food restrictions
  • Don't take with Atripla, Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, Trizivir or Truvada
  • Also fights hepatitis B (if part of an effective hep B.regimen)
  • Possible side effects*: rare, but include diarrhea, headache, nausea, rash, skin discoloration
EpivirEpivir
(3TC, lamivudine)
Available in once- or twice-daily doses; no food restrictions
  • Don't take with Atripla, Combivir, Emtriva, Epzicom, Trizivir or Truvada
  • Also fights hepatitis B (if part of an effective hep B.regimen)
  • Possible side effects*: rare, but include anemia, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, hair loss, headache, nausea, nasal problems, trouble sleeping, vomiting
EpzicomEpzicom
(combination of Ziagen + Epivir)
Taken once daily; no food restrictions
  • Don't take with Atripla, Combivir, Emtriva, Epivir, Trizivir, Truvada or Ziagen
  • Possible side effects and other warnings*: see Epivir and Ziagen
RetrovirRetrovir
(AZT, zidovudine)
Taken twice daily; no food restrictions
  • Contained in the combination pills Combivir and Trizivir
  • Don't take with Combivir, Trizivir or Zerit
  • May interact with a number of non-HIV meds, including some antibacterial drugs and some drugs used to fight anemia
  • Possible side effects*: anemia, chils, fatigue, fever, fingernail discoloration, musclesoreness, nausea
TrizivirTrizivir
(combination of Epivir + Retrovir + Ziagen)
Taken twice daily; no food restrictions, though taking with food may reduce nausea risk
  • Don't take with Atripla, Combivir, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, Truvada or Ziagen
  • May interact with a number of non-HIV meds, including some antibacterial drugs, antifungal drugs, cytomegalovirus drugs, hepatitis C.drugs and methadone
  • Possible side effects and other warnings*: see Epivir, Retrovir and Ziagen
TruvadaTruvada
(combination of Viread + Emtriva)
Taken once daily; no food restrictions
  • Don't take with Atripla, Combivir, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Trizivir or Viread
  • May interact with some other HIV.meds in ways that could require dose changes
  • Possible side effects and other warnings*: see Emtriva and Viread
VidexVidex or Videx EC
(ddI, didanosine)
Available in once-or twice-daily doses; take on an empty stomach
  • May interact with some other HIV.meds in ways that could require dose changes
  • Try to avoid taking with Zerit (increases risk of some side effects)
  • Possible side effects*: diarrhea, headache, neuropathy, pancreatitis (rarely), stomach
VireadViread
(TDF, tenofovir)
Taken once daily; no food restrictions
  • Don't take with Atripla or Truvada
  • May interact with some other HIV.meds in ways that could require dose changes
  • Use with caution if you already have bone or kidney problems
  • Possible side effects*: bone mineral density reduction, diarrhea, gas, kidney problems (not common), nausea, vomiting
ZeritZerit
(d4T, stavudine)
Taken twice daily; no food restrictions
  • Don't take with Retrovir or Videx
  • Possible side effects*: anxiety, body fat changes, chills/fever, depression, increased triglycerides, nausea, neuropathy, rash, stomach pain, trouble sleeping, vomiting
ZiagenZiagen
(ABC, abacavir)
Available in once- or twice-daily doses; no food restrictions
  • Contained in the combination pills Epzicom and Trizivir (don't take either with Ziagen)
  • 5%-8% of people may have a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction within 2 to 6 weeks of starting Ziagen (a "hypersensitivity test" can see whethe you're at risk); if this happens, Ziagen should be stopped immediately and never taken again.
  • Use with caution if you have liver problems or are at high risk for heart disease
  • Other Possible side effects*: diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headache, nausea, rash, vomiting
PIs
AptivusAptivus
(TPV, tipranavir)
Taken twice daily; preferably with food because it's taken with Norvir
  • Must be taken with Norvir
  • Use with caution (or avoid) if you have liver problems.or hepatitis; if you're on a blood thinner; or if you have a sulfa allergy
  • May interact with a number of HIV.meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor), requiring dose adjustment
  • Possible side effects*: diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headache, increased cholesterol/triglycerides, nausea, rash, stomach pain, vomiting
CrixivanCrixivan
(IDV, indinavir)
Taken twice daily; take with food and lots of water
  • Don't take if pregnant; don't take with Reyataz
  • Usually taken with Norvir (dose is thrice-daily by itself)
  • May interact with a number of non-HIV meds and supplements, including some statins, birth control pills, male sexual enhancement drugs and allergy nasal sprays
  • Possible side effects*: body fat changes, diarrhea, dry mouth/skin, fatigue, headache, hives, indigestion, ingrown toenails, joint pain, kidney stones, liver problems, stomach problems, yellow eyes/skin
InviraseInvirase
(SQV, saquinavir)
Taken twice daily; take with food or within two hours after a meal
  • Must be taken with Norvir
  • Don't take with Aptivus or Prezista
  • May interact with a number of HIV.meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor), requiring dose adjustment
  • Possible side effects*: diarrhea, nausea, stomach discomfort, vomiting
KaletraKaletra
(combination of lopinavir + Norvir)
Available in once- or twice-daily doses; try to take with food (may reduce risk of side effects)
  • Don't take with Lexiva; don't take with Norvir as a separate pill
  • May interact with a number of HIV.meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor), requiring dose adjustment
  • Possible side effects*: diarrhea (common; may be severe), headache, increased liver enzymes, muscle weakness, nausea, rash, stomach pain, vomiting; once-daily dose may increase risk of some of these side effects
LexivaLexiva
(FPV, fosamprenavir)
Available in once- or twice-daily doses; no food restrictions
  • Needs to be taken with Norvir if you use the once-daily dose; don't take with Kaletra
  • May interact with a number of HIV.meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor), requiring dose adjustment
  • Use with caution if you have hepatitis B or C, or are allergic to sulfa drugs
  • Possible side effects*: diarrhea, fatigue, headache, nausea, rash, stomach pain, vomiting
NorvirNorvir
(RTV, ritonavir)
Available in once- or twice-daily doses; must be taken with a meal (preferably with some fat in it)
  • Used almost exclusively to "boost" the effectiveness of other PIs
  • Possible side effects*: alcohol intolerance, diarrhea, dizziness, gas, headache, increases in triglycerides and cholesterol,nausea, neuropathy, stomach pain, taste alteration, vomiting, weakness, weight loss
PrezistaPrezista
(TMC114, darunavir)
Available in once- or twice-daily doses; must be taken with food
  • Must be taken with Norvir
  • Use with caution if you have liver problems or are allergic to sulfa drugs
  • May interact with a number of non-HIV meds and supplements, including some statins, birth control pills, male sexual enhancement drugs and allergy nasal sprays
  • Possible side effects*: diarrhea, headache, nausea, rash, stomach pain
ReyatazReyataz
(ATV, atazanavir)
Taken once daily; must be taken with food
  • Must be boosted with Norvir when taken with Viread or Truvada
  • Only PI that doesn't appear to increase cholesterol/triglycerides
  • May interact with a number of HIV.meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor), requiring dose adjustment
  • Possible side effects*: dizziness, elevated liver enzymes, kidney stones, lightheadedness, yellow eyes/skin, rash
ViraceptViracept
(NFV, nelfinavir)
Taken twice daily; must be taken with food
  • May interact with a number of HIV.meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor), requiring dose adjustment
  • Possible side effects*: diarrhea (common), gas, nausea, rash, upset stomach, weakness
Entry Inhibitors
FuzeonFuzeon
(T-20, enfuvirtide)
Taken twice daily; no food restrictions
  • Powder that is mixed with sterile water and then injected under the skin
  • Possible side effects: diarrhea, fatigue, injection site reactions (hardened skin, itching, pain, swelling, tenderness), nausea
SelzentrySelzentry
(MVC, maraviroc)
Taken twice daily; no food restrictions
  • Should only be taken by people who have "CCR5-tropic" HIV (as determined by a tropism test)
  • May interact with a number of HIV meds, non-HIV meds and supplements (check with your doctor)
  • Possible side effects: cold-like symptoms, dizziness, liver problems (may include yellow eyes/skin), muscle/joint pain, rash, stomach pain
Integrase Inhibitors
IsentressIsentress
(RAL, raltegravir)
Taken twice daily; no food restrictions
  • Use with caution if you also have hepatitis B or C
  • May interact with rifampin, a tuberculosis drug
  • Possible side effects: diarrhea, dizziness, elevated liver enzymes, fatigue, fever, headache, nausea, muscle pain/tenderness/weakness, rash, stomach pain, vomiting

Typical Side Effects of Different Medication Classes

  1. NNRTI side effects include, with Sustiva, nervous system and psychiatric side effects, diarrhea, rash, fever. With Viramune, rash and liver complications can be seen. NNRTIs may lower the effectiveness of birth-control pills, so other contraceptives should be used.
  2. Possible side effects for many NRTIs include pancreatitis, lactic acidosis and mitochondrial toxicity, which can cause neuropathy and wasting. Some NRTIs also contribute to high cholesterol and triglycerides.
  3. Possible side effects of many protease inhibitors include high cholesterol and triglycerides, lipodystrophy (body fat changes), high blood sugar with development or worsening of diabetes and increases in liver function tests. PIs also lower effectiveness of birth control pills, so other contraceptives should be used.


Copyright © 2010 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.




This article was provided by TheBody.com. It is a part of the publication HIV Medications: When to Start and What to Take -- A Roadmap to Success.
 

 
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