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Side Effects of HIV Drugs

May 2013

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Other Possible Side Effects

Taking HIV drugs can also affect your heart and bone health. For more information, see our info sheets on Caring for your Heart, and Bone Disease.

In addition to the side effects listed above, you can find more information on other possible side effects in the Diseases and Conditions section of the TWP website.

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Side Effects or Toxicities During Pregnancy

The majority of studies have shown that taking HIV drugs during pregnancy does not increase the risk of birth defects. However, there are certain HIV drugs that should not be used by pregnant women because of potential problems for the mother or the baby.

HIV+ women should not take Zerit (stavudine) and Videx (didanosine) at the same time if they are pregnant. Some pregnant women who took these drugs together developed lactic acidosis, which resulted in deaths. Sustiva (efavirenz) and Atripla (emtricitabine/tenofovir/efavirenz) should also not be used by pregnant women, because their use by women in the first trimester of pregnancy has been linked to birth defects.

If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, speak to your health care provider about all of your medications to be sure there are no specific warnings for pregnant women.


Taking Care of Yourself

HIV drugs help many people live longer, healthier lives. Side effects are an important factor in determining who stays on their HIV drugs. While the term "side effects" may make them sound like they are not a big problem, if they are getting in the way of your taking your HIV drugs, they may get in the way of your good health. If you are having trouble sticking to your HIV drug regimen because of problems with side effects, speak to your health care provider before skipping, reducing, or stopping your drugs. There is usually something that can be done about it, such as changing the dose of that drug, switching to another drug, or finding ways to treat or manage the side effect directly.

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This article was provided by The Well Project. Visit The Well Project's Web site to learn more about their resources and initiatives for women living with HIV. The Well Project shares its content with TheBody.com to ensure all people have access to the highest quality treatment information available. The Well Project receives no advertising revenue from TheBody.com or the advertisers on this site. No advertiser on this site has any editorial input into The Well Project's content.
 
See Also
Side Effect Chart: An Abbreviated, At-a-Glance Guide to HIV Drug Side Effects
More on HIV Medication Side Effects

 

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