have tried almost all of the drugs in all of the classes

Question

I have a few questions about what meds to try next. I have been on viracept, sustiva, agenerase, combivir, norvir, fortovase, ziagen, videx, azt (alone), epivir and zerit.......obviously not all at once but in some combination or another. Right now I am on the norvir/fortovase/ziagen/videx combo and it looks like I am failing this combo as well. What do I do now? I have tried almost all of the drugs in each of the different classes.... Is it true that if you fail one of the drugs in their respective class you will probably not respond to another in the same class? Should I go on a drug holiday until something else comes out? Thanks in advance for your help

Answer

Whether other drugs in the same class will work or not depends on the kind of resistance your HIV may have developed. Ask your doctor to do a susceptibility (resistance) test, like a genotype, so that you have some actual information about what drugs you will or won't respond to. There is also a new PI available for free through an "expanded access" program called ABT-378 that is made by Abbott Laboratories. This drug plus what the resistance testing shows may work could offer you an alternative. I interpret recent data to mean that staying on your current combination -- even if you have a detectable viral load -- may be better than a drug holiday.