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Author Topic: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?  (Read 2922 times)

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Offline Londonguy

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  • Posts: 104
Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« on: March 26, 2007, 04:45:28 PM »
Hey guys, I haven't posted for a while, I've just been getting on with my life really.  But last night I had an absolutely horrible experience with my meds and I'm worried.

Basically I started kivexa/epzicom and sustiva about 6 weeks ago.  After 2 weeks I got a rash and was prescribed antihistamines and steroids,which pretty much contain the rash, but if I stop taking the antihistamines then the rash comes back which is worrying me a little after a month.  But apart from that I haven't too many troubles beyond feeling stoned from the sustiva sometimes.

On Saturday night after work (I work in a bar) I went drinking with some colleagues, the first time I've drank alcohol since starting meds.  We drank from 3 am to 8pm but I never got absolutely off-my-face drunk but I was pretty tipsy on several occasions.  I went home and took my meds at 10pm last night, feeling relatively ok, not sick or drunk.  I slept til about 1.30 am when I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.  Everytime I closed my eyes I hallucinated I was working at my bar and I couldnt just lie there and rest.  Then I got diarroreah and there was quite a lot of blood mixed in with that for some reason  :o I got some water and went back to bed feeling sick and got a fever, shivering one minute and boiling the next.  I had really bad stomach pains and eventually I threw up twice.  I went back to bed and started hallucinating even more.  Then, and this was the scariest part, as I was lying there, the pain in my lower stomach felt like it was travelling up my body, first to my upper stomach and then to my lungs and chest,making my chest feel tight and my lungs constricted.  Then it travelled back down to my lower stomach and kinda settled there.  This whole experience lasted from about 1.30 am to 9am. Since then I slept all day. It was possibly the worst experience of my life and now I don't know what to think.

I know what a hangover is like and this certainly wasn't a normal hangover.  Did the meds interact badly with the alcohol?  I felt pretty normal when I took my meds but I guess my liver was still clearing the alcohol from my body.  Also I'm worried about the possibility of an abacavir reaction still.  It's over 24 hours since I last drunk alcohol and almost 24 hours since I last took my meds but the area around the top of my stomach and lower lungs feels quite pained, almost like it's bruised from the inside.  I went to urinate before and my lower stomach was really pained as I urinated.  Also since I slept I erupted in a rash again all over my body and arms.

This has all really scared me.  My guess would be it must be the alcohol interacting because there was no sign of any of this when I took my meds before this.  But because my body still feels in pain I'm worried about taking them tonight.  I really don't want another night like last night.  I don't know if it's worth going to the doctor in case he just says I had a hangover.  I know it wasn't just a hangover.  Can alcohol really do this damage with meds?

Offline Ihavehope

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  • Posts: 1,366
  • Yes, I'm a cry baby, AND WHAT?
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2007, 04:54:27 PM »
Hey London

That is a question perhaps the experts such as your doc can answer.

I had an experience with alcohol about 2 weeks ago where I suffered from severe diarrhea for about 2 days after I drank tequila and beer. It was pretty bad but nothing else besides that. I would assume that alcohol may play a major role with your meds and u should probably not drink as much as you did. It's something I suppose we need to live with from now on. If you feel better today don't stress out over that just be cautious.

Al
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline milker

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  • Protected phone sex
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2007, 04:58:17 PM »
Man I don't know the answer to your question but i'm sorry about your bad night, this didn't sound like something you want to experience again. Don't forget to drink A LOT of fluids today, to regenerate the loss of water you got by diarrhea and vomiting. Are you feeling okay now? What did you have to eat?

Milker.
mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
mid-feb: poz
mar 07: cd4 432 (35%) vl 54000
may 07: cd4 399 (28%) vl 27760
jul 07: cd4 403 (26%) vl 99241
oct 07: cd4 353 (24%) vl 29993
jan 08: cd4 332 (26%) vl 33308
mar 08: cd4 392 (23%) vl 75548
jun 08: cd4 325 (27%) vl 45880
oct 08: cd4 197 (20%) vl 154000 <== aids diagnosis
nov 2 08 start Atripla
nov 30 08: cd4 478 (23%) vl 1880 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
feb 19 09: cd4 398 (24%) vl 430 getting there!
apr 23 09: cd4 604 (29%) vl 50 woohoo :D :D
jul 30 09: cd4 512 (29%) vl undetectable :D :D
may 27 10: cd4 655 (32%) vl undetectable :D :D

Now accepting applications from blowjob ninjas™

Offline Central79

  • Member
  • Posts: 527
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2007, 06:38:20 PM »
Hi - I'm not sure whether what you describe is a drug side effect.

But shitting or vomiting blood are red flags and need further investigation. You didn't say if there was any blood mixed in with the vomit... But unless there's a really obvious reason why you're shitting blood (like haemorrhoids) you need to have an colonoscopy +/- a gastroscopy to check the whole of your GI tract.

I'm not sure what your normal alcohol intake is, but drinking continuously from 3 am to 8 pm is 17 straight hours. Although you haven't drunk for 6 weeks - this sounds worrying to me. The recommended weekly limit is 21 units for a man (= 1 shot of spirits or 1/2 pint of 4% (weak) beer). You shouldn't be drinking more than 3 units in a single sitting according to the guidelines. I know - bullshit, there's more than that in some of my mum's trifles. But I wouldn't be suprised if you got through more that 21 units in those 17 hours. Binge drinking is what does liver damage - and you definitely need that to metabolise your meds.

Go and see your GP ASAP and tell him/her what happened. If you start shitting blood again, or vomiting blood then that is worth going to A+E in a cab with a mate, or by calling an ambulance.

All the best,

Matt.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 08:17:29 PM by Matt Mee »
Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline tigger2376

  • Member
  • Posts: 462
  • too bad to die youngish!
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 07:55:12 PM »
Please, go and see your doctor babe. Yes, booze can interact, especially kivexa in my experience, but this is NOT normal. REALLY not being dramatic, just worried babe, and that rash should be gone....
Will be thinking of you, please let us know
Take care of yourself
Jo
x
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!

Offline puertorico2006

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  • Posts: 957
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2007, 11:19:17 PM »
hope you feel better soon....let us know how your doing....

i guess i better cut back in the booze now and get ready for that soon  :'( (that or get it out of my system while i can)
Infected Probably: may 2005
Diagnosed: 11/2006

11/28/2006 CD4:309 / VL: 1907 No meds yet
12/27/2006 CD4:339/  VL:1649 No meds yet
  4/28/2007 CD4:550/  VL:1800 No meds :-)

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,429
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2007, 11:58:42 PM »
Hey London,
Good to hear from you, but sorry you had such a nasty experience.

My best guess would be drinking for 17 hours or so plus the meds, which you still are somewhat new to, probably led to your feeling the way you did.

I'm not a doc and don't pretend to be though. So, I would go see the doc just for a quick look see, especially in light of the blood you passed.

Aside from the liver damage, it is possible you stirred up an ulcer or two with the binge drinking. That could explain the blood.

Some people can take the meds and drink moderately without a problem. I sorta fall into that category, although I don't drink very often.

Other folks can't tolerate any alcohol with their meds, and these are people taking a variety of HAART drugs, not just those you mentioned.

So, go see the doc and let him know what happened. Then, chalk it up to a learning experience. I fear the days of partying all day and all night may be a thing of the past for you.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 12:00:56 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,887
  • the one and original newt
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2007, 06:17:39 AM »
Mr London

You need to go see you doc.  Go soon.

1. Blood in diarrhoea deserves a work-up.

2. If you need to take steroids and antihistamines to toilerate your HIV meds then they are prob not the best for you.  For one, long-term use of corticosteroids is immune suppressing, and not to be recommended unless it can't be avoided. 

3. The alcohol here is a red herring, just a trigger.  The real prob is (a) your digestive system (liver/gut) (b) the meds (c) both.

Might need to be a bit pushy with yopur doc to get him/her to look at the HIV meds as a reason, esp if eg you go to Victoria Clinic or some other Chelsea & Westminster set up.

- matt

"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline DanielMark

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,475
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007, 07:01:24 AM »
Antihistamines combined with alcohol might also be part of the problem, London. Talk to your doc.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline keyite

  • Member
  • Posts: 514
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 07:31:58 AM »
Might need to be a bit pushy with yopur doc to get him/her to look at the HIV meds as a reason, esp if eg you go to Victoria Clinic or some other Chelsea & Westminster set up.

Why especially C&W? I'm with Victoria although not yet on meds - when speaking to others also treated there I can't say I've been getting the impression they're inordinately inflexible. Could you elaborate?

Offline Londonguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 104
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2007, 08:00:22 AM »
Mr London

You need to go see you doc.  Go soon.

1. Blood in diarrhoea deserves a work-up.

2. If you need to take steroids and antihistamines to toilerate your HIV meds then they are prob not the best for you.  For one, long-term use of corticosteroids is immune suppressing, and not to be recommended unless it can't be avoided. 

3. The alcohol here is a red herring, just a trigger.  The real prob is (a) your digestive system (liver/gut) (b) the meds (c) both.

Might need to be a bit pushy with yopur doc to get him/her to look at the HIV meds as a reason, esp if eg you go to Victoria Clinic or some other Chelsea & Westminster set up.

- matt



oh shit  :o

I go to Victoria clinic, went to the Chelsea and Westminster walk-in when I first got a rash off the meds.  Like keyite I'm just interested as to why you specified C&W might be awkward.

I only took steroids for the first five days after the rash, since then it's been antihistamines.  The rash I had this morning was probably the worst rash I've had yet from them so yeah,something ain't right.  I guess I'm just reluctant to switch meds so early on.  Ive always been nervous about being on Kivexa, my doc had to do a great deal of persuading to convince me to go on it so in a way I would be relieved to be off it.  I'd feel down about giving up the Sustiva though, I'd be disappointed my choices would already be narrowed so early on.

I haven't even been for bloodwork yet so I don't know what, if any, effects these meds have been having on my body.  After 6 weeks that sounds pathetic but between getting ill and missing the appointment to take my first set of bloods and my new job I've just kept putting it off. 

Right now I still have pains in my stomacha and diarroeah but I didn't have any real trouble last night after taking my meds.  But yeah I need to go see a doctor by now  :(

Offline newt

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  • the one and original newt
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2007, 09:51:23 AM »
Several Victoria Clinic docs seem v keen on Sustiva as "the best drug".  While it's very good, it ain't "the best", there's no study that says its "the best", and really "the best" combo is one you can take that works with least side effects. Friends of mine treated there were encouraged to continue (and suffer) when a change was the solution.  Now, I ain't change happy, but it's nice to have the choice, make the choice eh? (You can contrast this with some top docs at the Royal Free who avoid Sustiva as first-line therapy, perhaps also not evidence-based, but there you go, "the best" is a matter of opinion).

Kivexa, I need a good reason to answer why not Truvada for first line therapy?  Patient choice is one.  Reduced kidney function is another.  But otherwise, there are strong reasons why it's a better pairing with Sustiva as a starter combo. One, because when Atripla comes to the UK this/next year it's an easy switch, and two, the rash from what drug? question is avoided, three, it's half-life is better which means you can take Sustiva late/early and take the Truvada same time, which you can't do with Kivexa.

Your symptoms deserve attention, meds wise they suggest a possible allergy and/or pancreatic/liver involvement.  Continuing rash etc after 6 weeks is something to look at seriously.  Proper exam is important cos it may not be meds-related.  But truthfully, drinking like that shouldn't have these symptoms, crap hangover, yes, but not this from an occasional long and steady session. 

Viral load 1 month after starting meds is correct in the UK, an important benchmark in terms of your combo's effectiveness.

Good luck.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline keyite

  • Member
  • Posts: 514
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2007, 10:38:40 AM »
Several Victoria Clinic docs seem v keen on Sustiva as "the best drug".  While it's very good, it ain't "the best", there's no study that says its "the best", and really "the best" combo is one you can take that works with least side effects. Friends of mine treated there were encouraged to continue (and suffer) when a change was the solution.  Now, I ain't change happy, but it's nice to have the choice, make the choice eh? (You can contrast this with some top docs at the Royal Free who avoid Sustiva as first-line therapy, perhaps also not evidence-based, but there you go, "the best" is a matter of opinion).

Thanks, very useful to be armed with that info for when the time comes. Going on Friday to get next set of results and not least find out if my VL is continuing to spiral upwards, so perhaps I'll pose a hypothetical 'which combo would you suggest if I had to go on one now' and see what comes back.

Londonguy - best of luck with your visit!

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2007, 10:48:53 AM »
I used to get severe stomach pains in lower right area when I drank too much while on crixivan. It would last a day or two and then go away. Finally after one drinkathon, vodka martinis and black russians, I ended up in the emergency room, sure I was gonna die. My wife thought I was dying. I was white,shaking uncontrollably,could not walk and in agony. They gave me some morphine and after a few hours I was OK. They never could figure out what the problem was. IT WAS THE MEDS!!!! Its just my opinion, but I don't think you should drink while doing hiv meds. I don't. That was my last drink.   Over ten years now.

Offline carousel

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Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2007, 10:53:41 AM »
I used to go to the Victoria Clinic, but will never go back even if it is more convenient, being close to my work.

I can't really comment on the treatments, but I had several bad experiences there.  The last time, I was being encouraged by my nurse to make an official complaint.  I just gave up and went elsewhere.


Offline keyite

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Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2007, 11:05:12 AM »
I can't really comment on the treatments, but I had several bad experiences there.  The last time, I was being encouraged by my nurse to make an official complaint.  I just gave up and went elsewhere.

Really sorry to hear that... Before Victoria, and while still a neggie, I've used a fair few of the other ones: Lydia, Caldecot, Ambrose King - they were all crappy and Victoria has felt like a definite improvement on those. Which one are you at now, carousel?

Offline carousel

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Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2007, 11:15:24 AM »
I go to the Caldecot.  I get seen on a Friday afternoon by the Consultant.  I'm often the only patient around.  It suits me, though if you happen to go on other days, I know it can be a bit too much.

It suits me.  I also live near by and makes less of an intrusion in to my work.

Sorry for the hijack.

Offline budndallastx

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Re: Did Alcohol Mess Up My Meds?
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2007, 11:31:57 AM »
My initial meds were Sustiva and Epzicom.  On Day six I had a reaction which we thought was related to a bactrim allergy and I was hospitalized for two days.  I was presecribed steroids for the rash and took antihistamines after my prednisone was exhausted.  Two weeks later, I had a glass of wine and pretty much the same symptoms you described.

It turned out I was allergic to the Abacavir and was having a reaction.  I have since switch to Truvada without any issues.  Listen to Matt (Newt) he's a smart man and knows his stuff.

Wish you well.
Tom
Meds since: 11/20/2006
Sustiva / Truvada
12/08/2008 VL:<48 CD4 622 (38%)   
9/8/2008 VL:<48 CD4 573 (30%)
5/2008 VL:<48 CD4 464 (30%)
1/2008  VL: <50  CD4 425(28%)
9/2007   VL: <50  CD4 465 (27%)
6/2007   VL: <50   CD4 443 (26%)
3/2007  VL: <50   CD4 385 (25%)
12/2006 - VL: <50   CD4: 384 (25%)
11/2006 - VL:  22K  CD4: 208 (18%)

 


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