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Author Topic: anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems  (Read 1978 times)

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Offline FMHammyJ

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  • Posts: 10
anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems
« on: April 30, 2009, 07:28:53 PM »
I have been on abacavir for many years now, it has always remained the constant even when changing meds.....but I have been experiencing panic episodes for sometime now, and upon doing a an ECG(I thought I was experiencing a heart attack,it wasnt....I was just experiencing panic) after closer inspection the Dr decided that I may have had a small inferior MI inthe past...If I was panicky before,that was the last thing I needed to hear.....Now I will be going for further tests,but based on my lipids and tryglicerides, my Dr has decided to hold my abacavir. I must say I wont miss another pill, and I am grateful that abacavoir worked for me so well....but if it has caused damage to my heart,I wont be a happy camper >:( Has anyone else here experienced cardiac problems with abacavir..... sincerely,FMHammyJ

Offline Peter Staley

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  • Posts: 1,337
  • Founder & Advisory Editor, AIDSmeds.com
    • AIDSmeds.com
Re: anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2009, 10:12:49 AM »
FMHammyJ -- welcome to our forums.  Glad you found us!

I'm hoping the reason no one else has replied is that no one else in these forums has had MI problems with abacavir yet.  However, studies have shown this can happen.

Question -- did your doctor tell you to stop the abacavir, but not replace it with another drug?  I don't know what other meds you're on, but that seems a bit risky.

Let us know how the other tests go.

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2009, 02:58:58 PM »
April 30, 2009

GSK Studies Show No Increased Heart Attack Risk From Abacavir

An analysis of 52 studies of abacavir (found in Ziagen, Epzicom and Trizivir) by the drug’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), found no increased risk for heart attacks in people taking the drug, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. These results stand in contrast to results of other studies finding an increased risk of heart attacks among people on abacavir.


CONTINUED:

http://www.poz.com/articles/hiv_abacavir_heart_761_16539.shtml

Offline Peter Staley

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Re: anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2009, 04:04:23 PM »
Thanks for linking to the AIDSmeds story, which puts this study in context:

"These results stand in contrast to results of other studies finding an increased risk of heart attacks among people on abacavir."

This GSK funded study seems to be the ONLY one that didn't show an MI risk with abacavir.

Offline FMHammyJ

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  • Posts: 10
Re: anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 07:54:25 PM »
Thanks for the response Peter......I trust my Dr implicitly in this holding of the abacavir. I am doing well with my Cd's in the 350-400 range, and have been undetectable for years,so my Dr figures the remaining medications can hold HIV at bay.He is one of Vancouvers top HIV physicians, and has read all the studies on abacavir,pro and con, so I guess he is just opting on the side of caution in this regard ....I must say since I have stopped the abacavir,my chest pains(and the related anxiety) have diminished....Now I have to wait for an echo cardiogram, another ECG, and a stress test to see if indeed I did have a small MI IN the past, and if so, what kind of damage resulted. If you suffer major trauma,or need emergency treatment in Canada, you will get it pronto...but if its diagnostic tests, you can wait a month of Sundays....I am finding the waiting to be very anxiety provoking(If I was in the States,I'd have these tests in a day.In Canada,for diagnostic tests at least, its hurry-up and wait. ) I try not to feel to sorry for myself,cuz these meds have kept me alive and well for 17 years out of the 19 years I've been positive. But if I had some answers,I could treat myself,(better diet, more exercise) accordingly.

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,281
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 08:05:15 PM »
Hello Hammy,

Just wanted to say hello, and welcome you  I've been on Abacavir , since January of 2004. I have had several EKG's done over that period of time, with nothing showing abnormal. I've mentioned this to my doctor ( about the abacavir) doesn't seem to be concern, at least now.

Wishing you the best---Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 12/10/14,  t-cells are at 350,  Previous 8/25/14--- 402/ Viral load remains <40

 Current % is at 13% / Previous 8/25/14 11%

  
 63 years young.

Offline newt

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  • the one and original newt
Re: anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2009, 07:55:20 AM »
Erm

It is important to know that

- The GSK studies were not designed to discover the risks of long term use on the heart, therefore it is UNSURPRISING they didn't show any increased risk. They might as well have said the 50 odd studies did not confirm that dodos are extinct.

- The D:A:D study was specifically designed to look for unwanted effects of long-term combo AND HAS FOUND a number of unexpected associations for various types of antiretrovirals, including a near doubling of baseline risk for heart attack from use of abacavir. The good news is that this seems to be a reversible effect. ie the risk reduces when you stop.

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

Offline FMHammyJ

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: anyone else had to stop abacavir for heart problems
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2009, 04:23:15 AM »
Matt: thank-you for the information. I dont know if it is coincidence or what, but I have been off abacavir for a full week now, and I am already feeling better. I go for tests at the end of the month to see if I indeed did have a small silent MI in the past. Hopefully it was simply an error reading an ECG,but I suspect not. Anyways, if the DAD study is correct, I am glad my Dr. has held my abacavir(to tell the truth,I was going to stop it even if he didnt)...Ive learned with this disease to listen to your body...and its helped keep me relatively healthy for 19 years....Thanks again,..... Patrick

 


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