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Author Topic: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed  (Read 2370 times)

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Offline androg

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« on: April 06, 2009, 10:54:56 PM »
I'm in my late 20s, been HIV+ for 13 years, and just started Atripla after being on Trizivir for the last 7 years or so.  I've lived through some of the worst side effects (Crixivan kidney stones, anyone?) but the head trip is one of the worst.  I feel high all day long.  It's been less than a week, and I've started eating much lower fat evening meals/snacks, which has helped only minimally.  I'm a law student and suddenly I feel retarded when reading cases and doing research.  Are there others here in professions where quick logic and recall are necessary and, if so, were you able to kick the Atripla head feeling?

When I say I feel high, it's like a potent-bong hit kind of high.  No good for school, especially with finals in a month.  Have people been able to do Atripla and study for the bar/medical boards/similar high brain demand activities and feel the same they did before Atripla?

Offline Broch

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
  • Start as you mean to go on.
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 12:01:18 AM »
Atripla can definitely throw you for a loop.
I am an interpreter and mental health therapist, two occupations that require you to think fast with a low margin of error ;). I can tell you that I was not able to function in either capacity while on Atripla.

That said, I know that I am supposedly among the few who experience side effects of this nature that last more than a few weeks. In my case it was more than work function... it was debilitating enough that I could not drive and I slept around 14 hours a day. It was like being drunk and high ALL THE TIME.

Best advice I got was from my doc: compare next week to this week. If there is marked improvement, do another week. When you get to two weeks that look and feel basically the same with little or no improvement, that's your new "norm". Then decide if that norm is something you can live with or not.

Also, as I am sure you know, there is way more out there than Atripla. For those of us who (apparently in the minority) discover that it is not the holy grail or that it's "like a sugar pill" with side effects, there are, thankfully, PLENTY of other options that are just as good.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,160
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 07:42:08 AM »
Yep, you have to wait and see if the high subsides, but stay in close communication with your HIV specialist.  If Atripla is not your drug, there will be another.
Congratulations on being in law school by the way!  Ambition is a great thing, and very attractive especially in the young.
I was in the middle of writing a thesis when I had a horrible reaction to sustiva.  My advisors were not being kind about my delays but I couldn't concentrate. Also, my HIV specialist resisted my complaints about not being OK on sustiva.  This despite ample evidence that a minority of people just can't deal with the nervous system interactions.  The specialist thought it was all pyschologically caused, not chemical. 

In the end, who is to know, really? Just you. I pretty much forced him to change my combo and felt better in days.  Then I took stock and dropped the HIV+ and treatment bomb on my thesis advisors and they backed off.  I finished the work and, so, it all worked out.

I think you need to communicate around the real situation, and assure your mental and scholastic success.  You are very ambitious and that will get you far in life so don't let a small handicap like medicine and HIV get in the way (obviously, you havent so far), and when it does, insist that you do have this handicap and get what you need. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline BM

  • Member
  • Posts: 340
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009, 08:42:45 AM »
I've never been on Atripla, but I experienced much of what you describe when I was finishing my PhD. At the time I attributed the fuzzy-headedness to stress, and the spaced-out feelings I put down to long periods of concentrating at a desk.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,160
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009, 09:30:56 AM »
Yep, BM, i think this is very much a part of the issue.  But also, HIV and HAART and Stress is a crappy cocktail and some HAART improves the situation, some degrades. Thats my take on it.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline clsoca

  • Member
  • Posts: 164
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2009, 02:28:13 PM »
I have a job where I MUST have a clear head at all times. After a few weeks on Atripla, the daytime brain fog went away. I took a caffeine pill as soon as I got to work and this got me through this temporay period.

I am now back to normal. I like taking Atripla as soon as I get off work with no eating for 1 hour. Usually, I am in heavy LA traffic during this 1 hour period so it works for me. Then I am free to do or eat what ever I want to do the rest of the evening. 
10/07 Infected
11/07 Seroconversion
07/08 Tested Poz
07/08 VL 487  CD4 658  (No Meds)
10/08 VL 286  CD4 724  (No Meds)
01/24/09 VL 30,100   CD4 329 CD4 30% (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 367 CD4 36%  Blood Work @ UCLA (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 317 CD4 35% Blood Work @ USC (No Meds)
02/12/09 VL 52,000   CD4 297 CD4 29%
02/12/09  Started Atripla
04/01/09 VL 60  CD4 667   CD4 48%
06-05-09  VL UD CD4 427   CD4 39%

Offline androg

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2009, 06:16:01 PM »
It seems to be slowly getting better, thanks for all the advice.  I'm going to give it 2 weeks, then I'm switching meds if I'm not back to old self 100%.  The dreams I can deal with, the fuzzy-headedness not so much.

/a.

Offline moratorium79

  • Member
  • Posts: 44
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2009, 12:52:46 AM »
I'm unsure when you normally take your dose, but you might consider taking it before bed if you aren't already doing so.  My Doc has said that taking it this way lessens the side effects (as you sleep through most of them, I'd imagine).  I agree with all of the above posts as well, keep tabs on this and in good communication with your physician.
*these are not times for the weak of heart*

Offline lonbjny

  • Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2009, 04:12:23 PM »
Hi androg,

thanks for doing this thread. It is one of my bigger fears that starting meds will effect my job. Please give us an update as you progress as to whether your head is clearing.

Thanks

Offline clsoca

  • Member
  • Posts: 164
Re: Atripla and Professions where you have to be clear-headed
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2009, 09:06:06 PM »
The bigest trick I have learned with Atripla is to NOT consume fatty foods within two hours prior or 1 hour after ingesting the 1-2-3 pill.

I am a Commodities Broker here in Century City (West LA) and I can tell you that I have to have all of my facilities in tact. Last month I was number one at the firm in sales and profit margins ( I made a huge bet of a copper shortage........ counting on the lay offs at the copper mines would result in less copper on the market).

Therefore, don't be too worried. Just be aware of the break in period. I am doing fine and I have a very stressful and fast pace job. You will do fine.
10/07 Infected
11/07 Seroconversion
07/08 Tested Poz
07/08 VL 487  CD4 658  (No Meds)
10/08 VL 286  CD4 724  (No Meds)
01/24/09 VL 30,100   CD4 329 CD4 30% (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 367 CD4 36%  Blood Work @ UCLA (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 317 CD4 35% Blood Work @ USC (No Meds)
02/12/09 VL 52,000   CD4 297 CD4 29%
02/12/09  Started Atripla
04/01/09 VL 60  CD4 667   CD4 48%
06-05-09  VL UD CD4 427   CD4 39%

 


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