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Author Topic: Starting meds...  (Read 3429 times)

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Offline blowncircuit

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Starting meds...
« on: February 01, 2008, 09:44:08 AM »
So the time has finally come for me to start treatment. I have done alot of reading and am doing my best to educate myself on what to expect. My doctor has given me two options to begin with the first being Atripla and the second being a three pill combo of Truvada w/boost and Rey. So I have a few specific questions I would like answered that I have not seen any real black & white answers on, here or anywhere else as of yet. I am aware that all meds have different results for different people but what I am looking for is basicly the most common results for someone like me starting meds. I really appreciate any answers anyone may be able to give me s I do not have many (if any one) to discuss this with short of my doctor.

SO my t's are 339 with a v load of 61000, and I think I have decided to start with Atripla. My questions are:

1. I have had issues with anxiety, will these meds make this worse or better?

2. How long or how common are body changes in someone just starting meds? I know somewhere down the line this may be an issue, but with the particular meds I am starting will it be an issue right away?

Like I said I know everyones different, just looking for the most common results for someone starting these particular meds.

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to help out here!
« Last Edit: February 01, 2008, 09:50:52 AM by blowncircuit »

Offline BreakerOneNine

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  • Posts: 65
    • Myspace
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 06:40:33 PM »
I have only been taking Atripla for 2 months and have yet to have any body changes...Im not sure that I know what changes you are speaking of....I also had slight anxiety before I started taking it and it isnt any worse...but everyone is different I guess...I did have to move to taking it in the morning though because I couldnt sleep and I am fine.
poz 96 and med free til now.
Sept 2007 cd4 280 28.37% and VL 19,200
Nov 2007 cd4 230 25.87% and VL 38,000
Dec 2007 start Atripla
Jan 2008 cd4 490 32.5% and VL 119
Feb 2008 cd4 450 28.4% and VL less than 50
April 2008 cd4 510 28.6% and VL less than 48
July 2008 cd4 570 30.2% and VL less than 48
Dec 2008 cd4 570 32.0% and VL less than 48

Offline strykern

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  • Posts: 60
  • Oh. I see...
    • Strykern Journey
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008, 06:57:56 PM »
Almost 3 months on Atripla and doing great!
First few weeks were "interesting" but it has mostly leveled out.
Good Luck!
It is what it is...

I am what I am...

Offline Esquire

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2008, 12:53:17 AM »
been on Atripla for 14 months.  before that, trizivir + sustiva for 4 yrs.  Also have hit the gym that entire time and have had unbelievably great body changes, but nothing due to the meds ;).   The sustiva in the atripla has been noted to increase anxiety or depression in some people, but I escaped that - again each body reacts differently.  Also, I recall getting a rash from sustiva that lasted about a week as my body adjusted to it, but that went away. Some folks also report vivid dreams with the sustiva that is in aptripla (not nightmares necessarily, just ones that are memorable - I wish I had that experience, but again no reaction in me). 

So, it was scary to think of starting meds for me but after 5 years, all good.  And the switch to atripla has really made my adherence much easier - 1 pill once a day.  Almost like taking a vitamin.

I have no experience with your alternative regimen, so maybe someone else can provide insight on that.  But I give atripla 2-thumbs up.
Esq.

Offline LordBerners

  • Member
  • Posts: 415
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2008, 07:07:58 AM »
I just dropped Truvada/Sustiva, which I think is the same as 'Atripla', because it made me totally lose appetite, in fact it was extremely difficult to eat at all.  I lost about 12 pounds in 10 days.  Apparently the Sustiva is the likely culprit.

Anyway I hope to find a more tolerable combo one of these days.
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline OneMoreGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2008, 09:46:36 AM »
Hi blowncircuit,

I also just started taking meds. The first night, I did with trepidation as I had no idea how my body would react.

You can read my findings for my first five days of use under this section in the Truvada + Sustiva (stocrin) section. These are the exact ingredients in Atripla (same mgs per substance too). In Switzerland we do not sell Atripla as of yet. Maybe sometime later on this year.

It is true that we all react with minor differences, but I hope your experiences with Atripla will not be any stronger than the mild side effects I experienced during my first five days.

Good Luck!  And have a great weekend.
Psychologist, PhD
Counseling patients with HIV since Jan 1991
HIV since Dec 2005
There are three parts to any successful relationship (platonic or romantic): trust, honesty and communication

Offline blowncircuit

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2008, 10:14:47 AM »
Thanks for the feedback!

The body changes I was referring to is the whole lipo-thing (medbelly w/fatloss in face and butt), I am assuming this is what to expect in the long term providing the drugs stay the same, but I am hoping this will not be an issue for at least a few years. Getting back on a regular diet of the gym should hopefully help keep this problem away as well. After two years off I have had my own 'body changes' that have nothing to do with any med, lol!

As far as the anxiety issue, I have been on medications in the past for it, and am not currently not taking anything as I have more control lately. I would hate to have Atripla screw with any of the gains I have made controlling my temperment, as I have no choice but to start taking meds. Anyhow I will see what happens.

The few things I am looking forward to however are the vivid dreams and the buzz..z so many people say they get. God I am sick, lol! I am asking my doc for a presc. for Ambien though in case I have sleep issues. Sounds as if that is very common with this drug.

I start my meds on 2/22 so I will keep reading to prepare.


Offline OneMoreGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2008, 11:00:58 AM »
My dreams are vivid but nothing wild and no buzz. But you might react differently.

I have no sleeping problems either. I get up 2 to 4 times during the night to go pee and can easily go back to sleep.

As far as the fat loss in face and butt, AZT (which is not present in any of the drugs in Atripla) is more to blame for that.

PI (protease inhibitors) are more to blame for fat accumulating in odd places (again, not present in Atripla)

Nothing is certain with HIV meds, but provided you react to Atripla like most people, your body should not suffer outward irregularities due to its intake.
Psychologist, PhD
Counseling patients with HIV since Jan 1991
HIV since Dec 2005
There are three parts to any successful relationship (platonic or romantic): trust, honesty and communication

Offline Esquire

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2008, 11:21:37 AM »
Blowncircuit - sounds like you are starting out with a good sense of humor and a great attitude, which are important ingredients in any drug regimen.  I haven't heard that any components of Atripla are linked to the bad body changes you are referring to - as DokB mentioned, earlier PIs and AZT were often the culprits in that arena.  However, do get back in that gym habit, both lifting to maintain lean muscle mass and cardio to help counteract some of the lipid changes that these drugs can often cause.  Not to mention exercise can also help with anxiety.  Finally, I haven't had any sleep problems with sustiva, although your body might act differently.
Esq.

Offline mamaangie

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2008, 04:36:03 PM »
I was on Atripla for 3 months, and i had bad reactions to it: swelling, redness, rash, depression. However, my CD4s went from 6 to 282 in 3 1/2 weeks. I'm now getting ready to start new meds, that are really making me nervous.
But my husband is still on the Atripla, and after only a few months, his VL is undetectable. He doesn't have the side effects that I had.
Everyone I have talked to that takes Atripla says that if you are awake an hour after you take it, you feel like you are starving, and you want to eat. So if you take Atripla, it is best to take it when you are getting ready to go to sleep, as it is supposed to be taken on an empty stomach.

Offline mplsdoubled

  • Member
  • Posts: 52
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2008, 07:41:50 PM »
I've been on Atripla for about 5 weeks.  It is my first med.  Depression and anxiety went through the roof the first 3 weeks and I was ready to call it quits with the Atripla but things have evened out for me now.

I did have the buzz for the first week or so but that has gone away and I admit that I miss it a bit.   ;D  I can now take it with or without food and not experience any side effects.  I never had the dreams or problems with sleep at all.  My body seems to have adjusted well.

I had blood drawn last Wednesday and will get my results on Feb. 14 so I don't yet know how well the Atripla is working but I'm praying that I see the great results that so many have reported.

If you do have side effects, I would stay in close contact with your doc and try to ride it out.  Just my take on it but by no means is that based on medical science.

Good luck!

Offline steevm

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  • Posts: 3
  • Dazed
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2008, 08:13:49 PM »
hi everyone.  i, too, just started Atripla this last Mon, 1/28.  well, i was supposed to, but i was too nervous and freaked out because i had my doc appt that day and found out my tcells went from 436 to 279.  i tested poz in Nov and now i had to start meds.  i just couldn't get over that for the day.  however, i finally decided starting was no different than when i started taking anti-depressants, which i've been on for over 7 years.  so, going on 5 days and so far it's been a bit of a rollercoaster, but nothing super bad. 

the doc said to take it and go right to bed.  if i stayed up too late after, my depression and anxiety did increase as well as the dizzy/woozy.  since i take a Trazadone when i go to bed, i've not had any sleep issues (my biggest worry) or crazy dreams.  also, i realized i have to eat something when i get up because the prickly pear feeling and rotten mood was bad until i did.  these symptoms will hopefully decrease as time goes by.

so far, things are going reasonably well.  time will tell if it has the desired effect on my numbers.

hang  in there!
Nov 07 - T369 & V36000
Jan 08 - T279 & V38000 - Start Atripla
Mar 08 - T379 & V380 - Start Norvir,Truvada,Reyataz

Offline OneMoreGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2008, 11:43:41 PM »
Darn.... what's this 'buzz' people talk about... I miss out on all the fun things.... LOL

The most I got during the first few days was feeling horny, like if I had taken Viagra... was that the 'buzz'?

Oops, I forgot to write that down on my first five daily report in the other section....

Funny how we all react. Some had sleeping problems. Others, like me, had none.

I also have no eating problems. I don't get hungrier than normal and I have not lost appetite.

Mamaangie mentioned to take it on an empty stomach, but I asked my doctor and he said it varied by individual. One can eat before, during or after, or just take it with a lot of water.

For me, the only thing I can say is that I take it with A LOT of water. Of course, that causes me to go pee 2 to 4 times during the night.

Ah.... the joys of meds.
Psychologist, PhD
Counseling patients with HIV since Jan 1991
HIV since Dec 2005
There are three parts to any successful relationship (platonic or romantic): trust, honesty and communication

Offline LordBerners

  • Member
  • Posts: 415
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2008, 03:56:30 AM »
The most I got during the first few days was feeling horny, like if I had taken Viagra... was that the 'buzz'?

Interesting, Doktor.  I was on that same combo, and felt so sick that I didn't even masterbate for 10 days (very unusual for me).  I actually tried a couple of times but just couldn't do it. 

I hardly noticed this effect as I was so worried about the rapid weight loss, but when I finally did get off the meds and was able to feel well enough to ejaculate again, I have to say it was a great relief.  I'm definitely of the belief that it is quite unhealthy to go more than a couple of days without ejaculating.  Anyway, I'm still not back to my pre-meds level of horniness though, a week after dropping them.
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline OneMoreGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2008, 04:09:20 AM »
LOL... I love this forum. Where else can we talk about these things so freely.

As far as the meds, just goes to show you. We are all different and they seem to work in both opposite directions.

No sleep for some, oversleep for others, normal sleep for me....

Horny, not horny... normal horny (although frankly, I have always been in horny overdrive - that has never slowed down, even with age)

Hungry, not hungry, no change in appetite...

Makes it hard for people looking for direction as to how they will be affected once they start taking meds...

LordB... I hear you and hope you get back to your normal self (with many daily happy ejaculations)
Psychologist, PhD
Counseling patients with HIV since Jan 1991
HIV since Dec 2005
There are three parts to any successful relationship (platonic or romantic): trust, honesty and communication

Offline redhotmuslbear

  • Member
  • Posts: 605
  • A genuine certified freak of nature, and a hot one
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2008, 09:42:21 AM »
As far as the anxiety issue, I have been on medications in the past for it, and am not currently not taking anything as I have more control lately. I would hate to have Atripla screw with any of the gains I have made controlling my temperment, as I have no choice but to start taking meds. Anyhow I will see what happens.


"No choice but to start taking meds"????   You have a choice to take regarding meds from the first dose you pop to the last, and that includes, assuming your bugs don't have resistance mutations, which meds you take.  If you have anxiety, sleep problems, depression, or mania issues, a Sustiva-containing regimen is not a good first choice, regardless of how convenient once-daily dosing with Acripla may be.  Viramune + Truvada is the same drug classes -- 1 NNRTI + 2NRTIs -- in one pill once daily and one pill twice daily;  and there are other excellent options to avoid the risk of going on a mental rollercoaster. 

If you are managing anxiety without meds, you likely don't want to go back on psych meds just to be able to tolerate your HIV meds;  and taking Sustiva may point you in that direction.  As stated in this article, "A switch to Viramune is vastly preferable to life on Xanax."

http://www.hopkins-hivguide.org/q_a/patient/life_and_lifestyle_issues/mental_health/sustiva_and_anxiety.html?contentInstanceId=383424&siteId=7151

Best,
David
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 09:45:21 AM by redhotmuslbear »
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - BF Skinner
12-31-09   222wks VL  2430 CD4 690 (37%)
09-30-09   208wks VL  2050  CD4 925 (42%)
06-25-08   143wks VL  1359  CD4 668 (32%)  CD8 885
02-11-08   123wks off meds:  VL 1364 CD4 892(40%/0.99 ratio)
10-19-07   112wks off meds:   VL 292  CD4 857(37%/0.85 ratio)

One copy of delta-32 for f*****d up CCR5 receptors, and an HLA B44+ allele for "CD8-mediated immunity"... beteer than winning Powerball, almost!

Offline blowncircuit

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2008, 11:12:27 PM »
Thanks bear, I will keep that in mind. I did not do well with my psych meds as they made want to do absolutely NOTHING. Just working  was a chore let alone anything else. If I have another option than Sustiva, maybe I should seriously consider it.

Offline dizaster07

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2008, 06:34:57 AM »
hi i will be starting my meds 2moro and i am having mmixed emotions about the whole thing.one minute i am fine with it the next i am crying.well i did kind of prepare myself for this time but now that its here i cant handle it,help!!!!!!!!!!i guess its the thought of taking meds for the rest of my life that is realy getting to me.the worst thing is its affecting my relationship with my partner,i have just gone off him and cold..

Offline BT65

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Re: Starting meds...
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2008, 09:02:36 AM »
Diz, welcome to the forums.  You can find great support here and vent whenever you like. 

It takes time to adjust to starting meds.  Just know you're in the same boat as a lot of us here.  What meds will you be starting?  Have you read up on them?  Aidsmeds has a great lesson on them.  It's up in the left-hand corner of the screen under the 'Aidsmeds' logo.  Just click on the 'drugs' link.  Of course, we're here to help you through it. 

Again, welcome.  Hope to hear more from you, especially as you start the whole meds journey. :)
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

 


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