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Author Topic: Have to start Meds soon  (Read 5398 times)

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Offline LBpozguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Have to start Meds soon
« on: May 12, 2009, 07:55:40 PM »
Hi guys.... I have not posted in awhile... but I need some help. At my last ID visit, my CD4 was 323, 22% vl 49000. My Dr has said she thinks it is time to start meds. I go back in to see her June 10th and will get my blood results then as well. She gave me a list of meds that she told me to look at and decide which meds I want to start with.

SO, I am looking for any guidance you folks can give me.

Here are the ones she listed for me:

Atripla, Truvada, Surtiva, Kaletra, Darunavir, and Atazanavir.

I am so not ready for this mentally but I have to make myself do it. I have never been very good at taking pills and often forget to take them. This is why I am so worried. Anyway, knowing this I think I would be better of with a once daily.

Any thoughts and help will be greatly appreciated.
Feb 08 neg
Sept 08 - First poz test
Sept 08 CD4 558 (% unk) VL 11000
Dec 08 CD4 480 (29%) VL less than 700
Mar 09 CD4 370  VL 25000
June 09 CD4 425 VL 68000
Aug 09 Started Atripla
Sept 09 CD4 639 VL 100
Nov 09  CD4 716 (35%) VL Undet!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 10 CD4 685 VL UND

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,398
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2009, 12:23:23 AM »
Welcome back!  ;D

Sorry you are considering meds, but I always think of it as kicking viral butt rather than being down about it.

Of those meds you mentioned, Atripla is the easiest to take. By the way, it is the same thing as Sustiva and Truvada, but combined into one pill.

It is easy, you take one pill once a day. usually before bed. There are potential side effects. I would look at the drug chart here and go through them.

Darunavir, also known as Prezista, is a protease inhibitor. In treatment naive people, like yourself, it can be taken once a day. The dose, I believe, is two Prezista and and must be taken with one low-dose Norvir. The Norvir is usually 100 mgs. This also must be combined with another class of med, such as a couple of nukes. Truvada might be good for this, since Truvada is also taken once a day.

Atazanavir, also known as Reyataz, is also a protease inhibitor. I believe a treatment naive person may be able to take it without Norvir. The dose would be 400 mgs a day, I think. However, another class of drug must be used as well and, if it is Truvada, or one of the meds that makes up Truvada called Viread. you must use a low dose of Norvir and drop the dosage of Reyataz to 300 mgs a day. The reason is that Viread (as well as some other drugs) cause the amount of Reyataz in the bloodstread to be lessened and makes the Reyataz less effective.

There are quite a few other HIV meds out there, but most others have to be taken twice a day.

Hope this helps.

HUGS,

Mark


 
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline markaj

  • Member
  • Posts: 80
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 10:27:11 AM »
I've some experience with all those meds except Darunavir.  If you think you might have trouble remembering to take the pills, you might want to look at Kaletra or Atazanavir, the Protease Inhibitors are a lot more forgiving if you miss or take late doses, whereas Atripla or Sustiva/Truvada separately isn't.  In other words if you think you're going to miss doses you might be better taking a combo with more doses but a higher barrier to resistance rather than once a day meds with a low barrier to resistance.  I thought I'd struggle with always taking meds at the right time.  I had about three alarms going off every 12 hours which just drove me nuts.  Now I have no alarms and haven't ever missed a dose, it just becomes routine, as my id doc said just like brushing your teeth twice a day!  Good luck.  Mark
Infected Jan 08 / diagnosed Feb 08
Feb 08 - CD4 230 (9%) VL 3.5 million
Mar 08 - CD4 440 (6%) VL 660.000
Apr 08 - CD4 420 (11%) VL 3 million
Jun 08 - CD4 200 (7%) VL 3 million
Started Kaletra/Truvada Jul 08
Jul 08  - CD4 250 (14%) VL 23.893
Aug 08 - CD4 410 (15%)  VL 4.313
Switched to Sustiva/Truvada Aug 08
Switched to Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada Sep 08
Diagnosed with Hep C, HIV meds stopped for a bit
Nov 08 - CD4 414 (12%) VL 500.000+
Started Isentress/Truvada Nov 2008
Dec 08 - CD4 381 (17%) VL 1.116
Jan 09 - CD4 534 (20%) VL <50
Started Interferon/Ribavirin Jan 09
Feb 09 - CD4 407 (24%) VL <50
Mar 09 - CD4 360 (28%) VL <50
Apr 09 - CD4 279 (30%) VL <50
Jun 09 - CD4 298 (36%) VL <50
Aug 09 - CD4 303 (35%) VL <50

Offline LBpozguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2009, 12:48:07 AM »
Hey Mark & Mark:

Thanks for the great info.  It is greatly appreciated  ;D   

It is so overwhelming, I so appreciate being able to come on here and get such great insight and information.

Markaj, Thank you for your point of view. I had never thought of it that way. I thought one pill a day would be easier, but you truly make a very good case for going to a twice a day combo. I will give that some very good thought as well and discuss that with my ID.  :)




LB
Feb 08 neg
Sept 08 - First poz test
Sept 08 CD4 558 (% unk) VL 11000
Dec 08 CD4 480 (29%) VL less than 700
Mar 09 CD4 370  VL 25000
June 09 CD4 425 VL 68000
Aug 09 Started Atripla
Sept 09 CD4 639 VL 100
Nov 09  CD4 716 (35%) VL Undet!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 10 CD4 685 VL UND

Offline OneMoreGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 77
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2009, 01:28:38 PM »
From what my doctor told me and from what I had read before starting on meds, the most recommended med for first time HIV drug users was Atripla (stocrin / truvada). This had proven to be the best pill or combo for most users as long as they do not have any resistant strains.

As it has been mentioned, the advantage of Atripla is that it is a simple one pill a day treatment.

As far as being able to remember to take your pills, I have found it helpful for me to have one of those pill boxes that hold a 28 days supply (labeled Monday thru Sunday with four compartments for each day). If the box on the particular day I am supposed to take my med is empty, I know I have already taken my pill.. otherwise, I know I have to take it right away... before I forget... again....

Because I travel a lot and my days are pretty busy, the pill box helps me remember whether I've taken my med or not on a particular day.

Finally, remember that you are not stuck to one med option for the rest of your life. If your first choice does not work for you, your doctor will be able to suggest a different option.

Best wishes and keep us posted.
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 carpediem98

  • Member
  • Posts: 66
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2009, 03:27:38 PM »
I'm a booster of Isentress/Raltegravir and have been since reading the study reports that started coming out about it over the past year or so.  It's as effective as Sustiva with fewer side effects and I firmly believe that Isentress+Truvada will soon be considered the best standard regimen. Have you considered asking your doctor about that combination?

I started on Friday and am very pleased with the side effects (or, more to the point, their absence).  It has a rapid undetectability curve and, pharmacokinetically speaking, is a once-a-day regimen.  They are confirming this in studies but doctors are already prescribing 2 Isentress pills and 1 Truvada pill taken simultaneously, once a day.  If Gilead weren't developing their elvitegravir alternative, we probably would have seen a 3-in-1 alternative to Atripla containing Isentress and Truvada that would have become the new blockbuster.

Benefits of Isentress+Truvada over Atripla:

1) No sleepiness or strange cognitive side effects (which are caused by the Sustiva in Atripla).
2) Better impact on cholesterol and lipid profile.
3) Isentress is metabolized differently than many other drugs, so fewer interactions.
4) No dietary restrictions (Atripla must be taken on empty stomach b/c of the Sustiva).

In other words - Isentress+Truvada is more flexible to fit into your lifestyle, whatever it may be, with the same or better results and a much lower likelihood of adverse reactions.

It remains important to take your medicine at a consistent time, though - there's a lower resistance threshold with Isentress, so you have to be strict with yourself (as you would with any HIV medicine, but a little more so).  And there is the fact that it is a newer drug, so over the long term unexpected complications might emerge, but that is true of all of the newer drugs.

Whatever you choose - good luck to you!  It's definitely a good thing to begin treatment, as it means you're taking control of your body back from HIV.  Congratulations!

Carpe

Offline risred1

  • Member
  • Posts: 419
  • My Source for Supps - www.newyorkbuyersclub.org
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2009, 10:41:10 PM »
When you say your so not ready for meds.....

I think most of us can relate to the trepidation one may feel for any number of reasons...

But the bottom line is, starting before you get an OI often is an act of faith. But I would suggest you put your faith in perspective of how HIV is overcoming your defenses, and sooner than later, will really take a toll on your health.

As many a LTS and even for those who discovered their HIV status with a minimal CD4, an OI is a tough way to learn what HIV is capable of.

I just started meds and my last test has be at cd4 at 290 and a percentage of 23%. That is lower than I wanted for my start. But shows how quickly things can start to decline, when they start going that way. Just this Feb my CD4 was 365.

I must take my meds in order to have a better quality of life. Suppressing the virus will give my immune system a chance to recover. If i don't start treatment, i will continue to decline and my chance of a good CD4 rebound gets lower and lower. The lower my Cd4 in the big picture, the worse one tends to feel and the worse side effects seem to be.

In some aspects, our attitude can be a self fulfilling prophecy. I don't like pills, I forget to take them, I'm not ready....

You have to psych yourself up a bit. A positive attitude. (excuse the pun.) Acceptance that HIV is winning and that meds is now the only option to treat it. Living a longer, better life than what HIV will cause on its own.

Mark says it nicely. You have to Kick HIV in the butt and it going to happen only with the meds.

Best of luck, and believe in what you need to do for yourself.

risred1 - hiv +
02/07 CD4 404 - 27% - VL 15k
10/07 CD4 484 - 31% - VL 45k
05/08 CD4 414 - 26% - VL 70k
01/09 CD4 365 - 23% - VL 65k
05/09 CD4 291 - 23% - VL 115k - Started Meds - Reyataz/Truvada
06/09 CD4 394 - ?% - VL 1200 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
07/09 CD4 441 - ?% - VL 118 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
09/09 CD4 375 - ?% - VL Undetectable - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
12/09 CD4 595 - ?% - VL Undetectable - VIT D 34 - Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir

Offline positivmat

  • Member
  • Posts: 222
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2009, 11:54:18 PM »
I like the sustiva in atripla also because it was explained to me to cross the brain barrier and suppress hiv there better than alternatives. I was concerned with that for my future. So I chose atripla. Taking it with food hasn't been an issue for me. Wondering what the forum members think about the brain claim
Matt

Offline mikey62

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2009, 11:49:11 PM »
I too, am having to start meds on June 22.  So thanks guys for all of the helpful info.
I'm just not sure what meds my doctor is going to put me on.  I really like the idea of a 1 pill a day, but I also like the Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir combo idea because it seems to have fewer side effects.   I like the Isentress/Truvada combo too, because of the lower impact on cholestoral.  It's all very confusing to me, so I hope my doctor can give me some peace of mind.

I'll come back and post after I find out what I will be taking.  Wish me luck, I'm gonna need all I can get.

mikey  :)
Oct '07 - seroconverted (didn't know what it was at the time)
8/21/08 - tested HIV+
9/18/08 - CD4:329  21%  VL:7000
11/13/08 - CD4:415  19%  VL:5470
1/30/09 - CD4:109  18%  VL:5000 (bad lab count) THAT was scarey!
2/12/09 - CD4:389  19%  VL:5500 (re-tested)
4/15/09 - CD4:365  19%  VL:18,320  (due to slight infection)
5/30/09 - CD4:279  20%  VL:285K  time for meds (Atripla)
6/23/09 - CD4:264  20%  VL:683
9/25/09 - CD4:318  21%  VL:325
11/20/09 - CD4:330  24%  VL:123.  I'm gettin there...
1/15/10- CD4:337  24%  VL:118
2/26/10 - CD4:389  28%  VL:ud
6/25/10 - CD4:395  25%  VL:ud
8/24/10 - CD4:407  28%  VL:ud
1/14/11 - CD4:512  26%  VL:ud
6/09/11 - CD4:535  29%  VL:ud
4/02/13 - CD4:605  32%  VL:ud
6/14/13 - CD4:470  29%  VL:ud

Offline a2z

  • Member
  • Posts: 193
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2009, 02:03:30 AM »
I too, am having to start meds on June 22.  So thanks guys for all of the helpful info.
I'm just not sure what meds my doctor is going to put me on.  I really like the idea of a 1 pill a day, but I also like the Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir combo idea because it seems to have fewer side effects.   I like the Isentress/Truvada combo too, because of the lower impact on cholestoral.  It's all very confusing to me, so I hope my doctor can give me some peace of mind.

I'll come back and post after I find out what I will be taking.  Wish me luck, I'm gonna need all I can get.

mikey  :)

Overall this combo has been good to me (I may have to discontinue it because I had a break in mediciation...I'll find out soon)   I've had minor problems with yellowing on the Reyataz, and we may have some liver dysfunction/lipid problems as well.  But honestly, nothing that would impact the quality of my life significantly.

Also for those starting meds, I found a watch with a vibrating alarm helped me remain discreet.

http://www.amazon.com/Casio-Pathfinder-Phase-Hunting-PAS410B-5V/dp/B00134OK08/
Dates are blood draw dates:
5/23/14: CD4 895 --.-% VL UD - Truvada/Isentress
09/21/09: CD4 898 27.0% VL 120 - back on track, same meds.High level enzymes, but less so
06/15/09: CD4 478 21.8% VL 1150 - high liver enzymes... looks like I may not be resistant
05/22/09: Fixed insurance, resumed medicine
04/17/09: Ran out of medicine, could not resolve insurance problems
04/01/09: CD4 773 28% VL 120 - high liver enzymes
12/01/08: CD4 514 23% VL 630
10/17/08 started Reyataz, Norvir and Truvada. -- possibly minor neuropathy, but otherwise okay.
9/10/08: CD4 345 17%, VL > 78K
8/18/08: CD4 312 18%, VL > 60K (considering meds)
12/19/07: CD4 550 28% VL > 100K (no meds yet)
Diagnosed 10/23/07

Offline mikey62

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2009, 01:52:47 PM »
Ok, so my ID doc has decided to put me on Truvada & Sustiva and I'll be starting this coming weekend.
I'm still not quite sure why he chose this combo as opposed to Atripla.  Maybe because he thinks it might be easier for me to take 2 smaller pills rather one ( MUTHA PHUKIN ) large horse pill.

I'll be picking up my Rx's tonight after work.  Has anyone been on this combo?  Are there any major (or minor) side effects I should look out for?  Is there any reason why I couldn't start on it tonight instead of waiting for the weekend?

any help or info would be great.
Thanks
Mikey   :)
Oct '07 - seroconverted (didn't know what it was at the time)
8/21/08 - tested HIV+
9/18/08 - CD4:329  21%  VL:7000
11/13/08 - CD4:415  19%  VL:5470
1/30/09 - CD4:109  18%  VL:5000 (bad lab count) THAT was scarey!
2/12/09 - CD4:389  19%  VL:5500 (re-tested)
4/15/09 - CD4:365  19%  VL:18,320  (due to slight infection)
5/30/09 - CD4:279  20%  VL:285K  time for meds (Atripla)
6/23/09 - CD4:264  20%  VL:683
9/25/09 - CD4:318  21%  VL:325
11/20/09 - CD4:330  24%  VL:123.  I'm gettin there...
1/15/10- CD4:337  24%  VL:118
2/26/10 - CD4:389  28%  VL:ud
6/25/10 - CD4:395  25%  VL:ud
8/24/10 - CD4:407  28%  VL:ud
1/14/11 - CD4:512  26%  VL:ud
6/09/11 - CD4:535  29%  VL:ud
4/02/13 - CD4:605  32%  VL:ud
6/14/13 - CD4:470  29%  VL:ud

Offline positivmat

  • Member
  • Posts: 222
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2009, 05:08:35 PM »
The sustiva is a trip for the first 24 hours. I would wait til the weekend. I felt like I was walking sideways on the first morning after. It was no serious deal but I wouldn't drive like that. For me it got a lot better right after that but still was noticeably fucking with my head for quite a few weeks after. But it really killed my viral load in one month.

Offline AboutToStart

  • Member
  • Posts: 134
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2009, 10:05:51 PM »
Does it help if you take an anti- nausia pill?? I'm about to start with Atripla myself, and I just wanna know what are my options in case I get the dizzy buzz,...

Thanks!

Offline mikey62

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2009, 11:36:59 PM »
So I picked up my meds tonight and I'm having second thoughts.  I just can't afford the max co-pays on 2 drugs.  So I'm ask my doctor if he can switch me to Atripla instead of Truvada/Sustiva combo.

Wish me luck.
Oct '07 - seroconverted (didn't know what it was at the time)
8/21/08 - tested HIV+
9/18/08 - CD4:329  21%  VL:7000
11/13/08 - CD4:415  19%  VL:5470
1/30/09 - CD4:109  18%  VL:5000 (bad lab count) THAT was scarey!
2/12/09 - CD4:389  19%  VL:5500 (re-tested)
4/15/09 - CD4:365  19%  VL:18,320  (due to slight infection)
5/30/09 - CD4:279  20%  VL:285K  time for meds (Atripla)
6/23/09 - CD4:264  20%  VL:683
9/25/09 - CD4:318  21%  VL:325
11/20/09 - CD4:330  24%  VL:123.  I'm gettin there...
1/15/10- CD4:337  24%  VL:118
2/26/10 - CD4:389  28%  VL:ud
6/25/10 - CD4:395  25%  VL:ud
8/24/10 - CD4:407  28%  VL:ud
1/14/11 - CD4:512  26%  VL:ud
6/09/11 - CD4:535  29%  VL:ud
4/02/13 - CD4:605  32%  VL:ud
6/14/13 - CD4:470  29%  VL:ud

Offline Inchlingblue

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,119
  • Chad Ochocinco PETA Ad
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2009, 03:34:41 AM »
mikey62: keep in mind two things:

1) Initially many doctors prescribe Sustiva and Truvada separately for the first month or so in order to make sure that the patient can tolerate the meds and then when it's determined that the combo is going to work as far as side effects they prescribe the one pill version, Atripla. If there are intolerable side effects it's usually the Sustiva causing it, so they can always switch that off with another one and keep the Truvada.

2) Either way, whether you have the one or two co-pays, there are assistance programs that can help with the co-pays, links below

Chances are you'll be fine as far as side effects (most people are) but if by any chance you experience any side effects, do not stop taking any of the meds until you have spoken to your doctor first to determine what course of action to take, you don't want to develop any problems with resistance.


LINKS:

http://positivelyaware.com/2009/news_briefs/news_briefs_09_02_03.shtml

http://www.positivelyaware.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=345


« Last Edit: June 23, 2009, 03:43:16 AM by Inchlingblue »

Offline positivmat

  • Member
  • Posts: 222
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2009, 12:36:21 PM »
also, you might want to "live" with the side effects of sustiva for a few weeks (some say 6-8 weeks) because they might go away entirely for you.  I feel like i have completely gotten away from the side effects.
Good Luck and keep us posted

Offline mikey62

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2009, 03:29:36 PM »
OMG, Inchlingblue, that makes complete total sense to me.  I'm sure he may have told me the reason why he was putting me on the 2 meds as opposed to Atripla, but I probably wasn't paying attention.  This is a little overwhelming for me.  The reality has finally set in.  Not that I have been in denial or anything, I just wasn't expecting to go on meds this soon as my doctor kept telling me that it would be a few years before doing so.

Well now I feel a little more at ease.  I can take the hit for the co-pay for this month.  I go back in 4 weeks and if my numbers have improved by then, hopefully he'll take me off and put me on Atripla, that way I only have 1 co-pay that I can deal with.

I'm so glad all of you are out there with all the helpful information and support.
I will keep you posted on how things go.

Thanks again to you all.
Oct '07 - seroconverted (didn't know what it was at the time)
8/21/08 - tested HIV+
9/18/08 - CD4:329  21%  VL:7000
11/13/08 - CD4:415  19%  VL:5470
1/30/09 - CD4:109  18%  VL:5000 (bad lab count) THAT was scarey!
2/12/09 - CD4:389  19%  VL:5500 (re-tested)
4/15/09 - CD4:365  19%  VL:18,320  (due to slight infection)
5/30/09 - CD4:279  20%  VL:285K  time for meds (Atripla)
6/23/09 - CD4:264  20%  VL:683
9/25/09 - CD4:318  21%  VL:325
11/20/09 - CD4:330  24%  VL:123.  I'm gettin there...
1/15/10- CD4:337  24%  VL:118
2/26/10 - CD4:389  28%  VL:ud
6/25/10 - CD4:395  25%  VL:ud
8/24/10 - CD4:407  28%  VL:ud
1/14/11 - CD4:512  26%  VL:ud
6/09/11 - CD4:535  29%  VL:ud
4/02/13 - CD4:605  32%  VL:ud
6/14/13 - CD4:470  29%  VL:ud

Offline mikey62

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2009, 12:36:46 AM »
Ok, i started the Truvada/Sustiva tonight.  I also took a  Benadryl to combat the possible rash from Sustiva, just to be safe.  We'll see how it goes.  I hope I hear the alarm go off in the morning.

I'll come back and post my update some time tomorrow.

Thanks again to everyone for your help and info.

Later,
mikey  ;)
Oct '07 - seroconverted (didn't know what it was at the time)
8/21/08 - tested HIV+
9/18/08 - CD4:329  21%  VL:7000
11/13/08 - CD4:415  19%  VL:5470
1/30/09 - CD4:109  18%  VL:5000 (bad lab count) THAT was scarey!
2/12/09 - CD4:389  19%  VL:5500 (re-tested)
4/15/09 - CD4:365  19%  VL:18,320  (due to slight infection)
5/30/09 - CD4:279  20%  VL:285K  time for meds (Atripla)
6/23/09 - CD4:264  20%  VL:683
9/25/09 - CD4:318  21%  VL:325
11/20/09 - CD4:330  24%  VL:123.  I'm gettin there...
1/15/10- CD4:337  24%  VL:118
2/26/10 - CD4:389  28%  VL:ud
6/25/10 - CD4:395  25%  VL:ud
8/24/10 - CD4:407  28%  VL:ud
1/14/11 - CD4:512  26%  VL:ud
6/09/11 - CD4:535  29%  VL:ud
4/02/13 - CD4:605  32%  VL:ud
6/14/13 - CD4:470  29%  VL:ud

Offline mikey62

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2009, 11:28:53 AM »
Well, I made it through the first night.  A couple of odd dreams, but nothing bizzare or scarey.
I woke up a couple times but was able to go back to sleep.  I even woke up before my alarm clock went off but stayed in bed as long as I could.

Feeling a little light-headed, but I'm sure that's to be as expected.  No nausea or anything.  I had some yogurt with granola and I feel pretty good. 

Overall, I'm really surprised and pleased so far.  I'm probably a little more in tune with my body today and looking or waiting for other signs.  We'll see how the day progresses.

I sure hope this works.
Today is the first of a new day for the rest of my life.   I'm glad to be alive.   :D
Oct '07 - seroconverted (didn't know what it was at the time)
8/21/08 - tested HIV+
9/18/08 - CD4:329  21%  VL:7000
11/13/08 - CD4:415  19%  VL:5470
1/30/09 - CD4:109  18%  VL:5000 (bad lab count) THAT was scarey!
2/12/09 - CD4:389  19%  VL:5500 (re-tested)
4/15/09 - CD4:365  19%  VL:18,320  (due to slight infection)
5/30/09 - CD4:279  20%  VL:285K  time for meds (Atripla)
6/23/09 - CD4:264  20%  VL:683
9/25/09 - CD4:318  21%  VL:325
11/20/09 - CD4:330  24%  VL:123.  I'm gettin there...
1/15/10- CD4:337  24%  VL:118
2/26/10 - CD4:389  28%  VL:ud
6/25/10 - CD4:395  25%  VL:ud
8/24/10 - CD4:407  28%  VL:ud
1/14/11 - CD4:512  26%  VL:ud
6/09/11 - CD4:535  29%  VL:ud
4/02/13 - CD4:605  32%  VL:ud
6/14/13 - CD4:470  29%  VL:ud

Offline Inchlingblue

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,119
  • Chad Ochocinco PETA Ad
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2009, 01:16:39 PM »
mikey62: That sounds awesome. Take it one day at a time. There are many good HIV drugs out there and as time goes on there are more and even better ones.

Maybe you want to start a new thread? Keep us posted!

Offline AboutToStart

  • Member
  • Posts: 134
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2009, 11:12:36 PM »
Good luck Mikey!!!

One recommendation: don't take "preventative" meds (benadryl etc) just "in case".. First of, there are endless of potential side effects (a lil rash seems to be the least..), second - maybe you won't get any, thirdly - with "preventative" you would never know..

Keep updating!!!

Offline mikey62

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2009, 11:27:03 PM »
Thanks AboutToStart,
Good point, but I didn't find any harm in taking Benadryl for potential rash as I didn't think it would prevent any other side effect.  Although last night, I did NOT take a Benadryl and found that I wasn't as groggy this morning when I woke up. 
But I'm still having some problems with the dizziness in the morning and they seem to continue until about 11:00.  Sometimes eating something helps.  I'm hoping that this will fade with time.

Well, tonight will be the 7th day on meds (Truvada/Sustiva) and the effects are getting better, slowly but surely.  I do have more dreams at night, even if it's only 3 or 4, but I do dream every night.  Nothing horrific or anything like that.  But some are strange and I don't know where they stem from.

I am starting to feel better than I have in the last 3 months.  I'm very anxious to see what my numbers will be in a couple more weeks.  I will keep everyone posted.

Thanks again,
mikey
Oct '07 - seroconverted (didn't know what it was at the time)
8/21/08 - tested HIV+
9/18/08 - CD4:329  21%  VL:7000
11/13/08 - CD4:415  19%  VL:5470
1/30/09 - CD4:109  18%  VL:5000 (bad lab count) THAT was scarey!
2/12/09 - CD4:389  19%  VL:5500 (re-tested)
4/15/09 - CD4:365  19%  VL:18,320  (due to slight infection)
5/30/09 - CD4:279  20%  VL:285K  time for meds (Atripla)
6/23/09 - CD4:264  20%  VL:683
9/25/09 - CD4:318  21%  VL:325
11/20/09 - CD4:330  24%  VL:123.  I'm gettin there...
1/15/10- CD4:337  24%  VL:118
2/26/10 - CD4:389  28%  VL:ud
6/25/10 - CD4:395  25%  VL:ud
8/24/10 - CD4:407  28%  VL:ud
1/14/11 - CD4:512  26%  VL:ud
6/09/11 - CD4:535  29%  VL:ud
4/02/13 - CD4:605  32%  VL:ud
6/14/13 - CD4:470  29%  VL:ud

Offline AboutToStart

  • Member
  • Posts: 134
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2009, 12:23:05 PM »
Sounds like your doing good mikey... as for the dizziness in the morning - have you tried any relief pills for that i.e. Alka Seltzer Morning relief ("For the temporary relief of minor aches and pains with fatigue or drowsiness associated with a hangover ") or something else.. I was wondering if there was anything that can be done to relieve the symptom rather than wait till they ware off???

Offline mikey62

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Have to start Meds soon
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2009, 12:00:15 AM »
Ok, so here is my recent update.
After 4 weeks on Truvada/Sustiva, my CD4 went from 279 to 264, 19.9% to 20.3%, VL went from 285000 to 264.  Not sure why my cells went down, but my ID doc said my numbers may fluctuate.  But I'm really excited that my VL load drop dramatically and my % went up, probably to two more important numbers to keep a watch on.  My cholesterol has even gone down for the first time in 20 years.  YAY!!!  I'm pleased to see that because I have read that some meds may have an adverse affect on cholesterol. 

So, because I did relatively well in dealing with the Sustiva, I am starting Atripla tonight and will continue to have bloodwork done until my VL is undetectable.  And then, just routine every 3 months. My ID doc also said that my t-cell numbers will start to go back up.  I sure hope so.

As for the Sustiva, I didn't really have major problems like I have read some other people have had.  The first 3 weeks were definitely and adjustment to the fogginess and dizziness in the morning, but the 4th week was much better.  Oh, and I am dreaming much more than I ever have, but no nightmares or night terrors.  Thank God.
Other than that, I haven't had any other issues with the meds, so I'm excited to go on just one-a-day. 

Thanks to everyone for your help, advice and support on this thread.  I'm continuing to have a positive attitude (no pun intended) and know I will live long.

So for those of you who are just finding out your poz, it is nothing to be scared about and it is no longer the death sentence it once was.  Today's meds are so much more advanced than they were more than 20 years ago.  Modern medicine has definitely come a long way and I'm glad to be part of it.  You can too and will, now that you have found us here on the forums.  We have all been through the same feelings you're going through and it is completely normal.  Just stay strong, don't give up and live long.

Cheers for now,
mikey  :)
Oct '07 - seroconverted (didn't know what it was at the time)
8/21/08 - tested HIV+
9/18/08 - CD4:329  21%  VL:7000
11/13/08 - CD4:415  19%  VL:5470
1/30/09 - CD4:109  18%  VL:5000 (bad lab count) THAT was scarey!
2/12/09 - CD4:389  19%  VL:5500 (re-tested)
4/15/09 - CD4:365  19%  VL:18,320  (due to slight infection)
5/30/09 - CD4:279  20%  VL:285K  time for meds (Atripla)
6/23/09 - CD4:264  20%  VL:683
9/25/09 - CD4:318  21%  VL:325
11/20/09 - CD4:330  24%  VL:123.  I'm gettin there...
1/15/10- CD4:337  24%  VL:118
2/26/10 - CD4:389  28%  VL:ud
6/25/10 - CD4:395  25%  VL:ud
8/24/10 - CD4:407  28%  VL:ud
1/14/11 - CD4:512  26%  VL:ud
6/09/11 - CD4:535  29%  VL:ud
4/02/13 - CD4:605  32%  VL:ud
6/14/13 - CD4:470  29%  VL:ud

 


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