It looks like due to kidney function issues (increasing Serum Creatinine and Urine Microalbumin), my ID has decided to change my medications. I am still waiting for one final set of kidney function tests, but he has indicated that he is looking to drop Teevir (Atripla) - due to Tonofovir issues - and replace it with Abacavir and one more pill.
I have been on Teevir since I was diagnosed in 2014 - a little over two years and have had no issues, until now. I went to undetectable state within two weeks of starting Teevir and I remain undetectable. Now that a change is looming, I had a few questions that I thought I might ask folks here, besides doing whatever research I can do on the internet.
1) What should I expect when I change from one medication to another? Is it as easy as one medication just taking over fighting the HIV virus from the other? Will my body become resistant to Atripla, in the case I need again later?
2) I had several side effects when I started on Teevir for the first few weeks and then they went away. What side effects, if any, are the most commonly associated with Abacavir and how long do they usually last, until the body gets used to it?
3) I have read about how Abacavir might create heart problems (I just got all heart tests done last month and all is fine), but my ID says that is not true. What is the common opinion around about this particular drugs long-term effect on the heart or any other adverse long-term effect?
4) Which other drug is usually taken along with Abacavir, since it does not include all three drugs to fight HIV? I am used to a one-pill regimen and have not missed a single dose yet. Does it matter if I switch from a single-pill to two pills a day regimen?
5) Since Atripla is no longer used for treatment, could I possibly look at this change as a positive change even if Atripla has helped me remain undectable so far? Somehow, I am reluctant to let go but if it is hurting my kidneys I *need* to change it, so looking for anything positive to convince myself
6) I live in India and there is a limitation of drugs available in India, as opposed to the US. Is this a good change option for my geographic location? Are there any other options that anyone from India (or those who know about what is available in India) can recommend I ask my ID?
7) How long after changing the meds should I get my labs done to check if the new regimen is working?
I'm sorry for asking so many questions, but any and every help will be tremendously appreciated.
Once again, thanks - this forum has always been helpful and I'm grateful for that.