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Drug Interactions Need More Attention

January 25, 2002

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

New interactions involving antiretrovirals and other drugs often used by persons with HIV -- or interactions with nutritional supplements, like garlic or St. John's wort -- keep being discovered; clearly many others are unknown. Usually one drug (or supplement) either raises or lowers the blood level of another drug -- sometimes by several fold. Raised levels can result in serious side effects; lowered levels may cause the drug not to work as intended, or allow HIV to develop resistance. Sometimes it is possible to compensate for these interactions by changing the dose of one or more drugs.

Since the list of known interactions keeps changing (several were reported at the recent ICAAC conference, for example), the best way to present the information is probably Web sites that allow anyone to type in a list of drugs they are taking or planning to take, and receive a report of any known interactions. There have been such sites for several years. As a community, we need to keep informed about what's best and most current, and encourage physicians and patients to check for known interactions when they change medications -- or if they use certain nutritional supplements.


ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2002 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.

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Back to the AIDS Treatment News January 25, 2002 contents page.

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by AIDS Treatment News. It is a part of the publication AIDS Treatment News.
 
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