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Author Topic: Suppose to start on my meds but I am  (Read 2223 times)

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Offline sacredpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 15
Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« on: September 23, 2006, 02:59:47 PM »
scared of the side affects, so I have not started them. Is anyone on this forrum on Epizcom or Viramune? These are the meds that I will be taking as soon as I muster up enough strength.

Offline pozniceguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,176
  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2006, 04:50:14 PM »
I have the Epzicom///// it is a combo drug...  replaces things like Zerit an Epivir.....it is a "no bad reactions" drug...I have been using it for months and no side effects....Viramune is one of the  better drugs to start with...few side effects  or usually short lived side effects..

having said that..everyone is different...hopefully your DR ran some tests to be sure you are not "resistant"  to these.....

We have all been there ..just go ahead and do it ..if the DR  started you on meds it is because you need to start....DO IT...

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,114
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2006, 03:17:30 AM »
Hello Scared,

I am on Viramune and Epzicom. Epzicom is a combination of Epivir and Ziagen (Abacavir). I was taking those two doses separately, until the doctor wrote the prescription for Epzicom.

I am also on the Viramune. Was started on that back in October of 2003, And had very little problems, dealing with it.  VIREAD is also added to my Viramune and Epzicom.

You have two drugs there, that need two be watched. The Viramune, and the Ziagen portion of the Epzicom. There can be a Hypersensitive reaction in 8% of those taking Ziagen.


Make sure to understand this drug, and how to take it properly, and what to possibly watch for, while taking these medications .Remember, many of these HIV medication can cause some sort of allergic reaction or hypersensitive reaction. It does not happen in all people, and you may have very little problem in taking these medications. I never had any problem with these medications to date...

  http://www.aidsmeds.com/drugs/Epzicom.htm



Make sure to understand about Viramune also :

http://www.aidsmeds.com/drugs/Viramune.htm


What is known about Viramune?
  •  Taking Viramune is a two-step process. For the first two weeks (14 days) of treatment, the dose is one 200mg tablet once a day. Two weeks after starting treatment, the dose of Viramune is increased to one 200mg tablet twice a day. Following this schedule – which you should do under your doctor's guidance – can reduce the chance of developing a rash or other side effects
  •  It might be possible to take Viramune only once a day. This would involving taking one 200mg tablet, once a day, for two weeks, followed by two 200mg tablets, also once a day, thereafter. Researchers are now testing the safety and effectiveness of this option – it has not yet recommended by any experts and has not yet been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  •  You may take Viramune with water, milk, or soda. You may take Viramune either with or without foods. 
  •  Researchers have found that Viramune passes easily into the brain. This is very important because HIV can infect brain cells. Anti-HIV drugs that pass through the brain's protective barrier – called the "blood-brain barrier" – may help prevent and/or treat conditions like AIDS-related dementia. 
  •  Viramune can be given to children, using their size or their body weight to determine the dose. Most experts prefer to use body weight as the method for selecting a Viramune dose. To learn more about Viramune dosing for children, click here. A liquid solution of Viramune is available for babies and children, which is easier to give to young children than the adult tablets. 
  •  For HIV-positive adults beginning anti-HIV drug therapy for the first time, Viramune is listed as an "alternative" NNRTI option by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in its treatment guidelines. The NNRTI Sustiva® (efavirenz) is listed as the "preferred" option. To learn more about these recommendations and options, click here.
  •  In its treatment guidelines, the DHHS points out that there is an increased risk of liver problems in certain people using Viramune when starting anti-HIV treatment for the first time. These liver problems are more likely to occur in women (including pregnant women) with T-cell counts greater than 250 at the time of starting treatment. As for men, liver problems are more likely to occur if their T-cell count is greater than 400 at the time of starting treatment. HIV-positive people should work with their doctors very carefully if they have T-cell counts above these levels and are planning on starting therapy for the first time with a drug regimen that contains Viramune.
  •  If your viral load becomes detectable while taking a drug regimen that contains Viramune, your doctor can order a drug-resistance test to see which drugs your virus are becoming less sensitive to.
  •  All of the currently available NNRTIs are affected by cross-resistance. This means that, if you've tried and failed a drug regimen in the past that contained either Sustiva® (efavirenz) or Rescriptor® (delavirdine), your virus might be resistant to Viramune. Similarly, if you take an anti-HIV drug regimen that contains Viramune and your virus becomes resistant to the drug, your virus will most likely be resistant to the other NNRTIs. This is why it is very important to use drug-resistance testing to determine which drugs your virus is no longer responding to if you experience a rebound in your viral load while taking an anti-HIV drug regimen. Fortunately, new NNRTIs that are active against HIV strains resistant to current NNRTIs are being developed.
  •  If you decide to stop taking a drug regimen that contains Viramune and do not immediately switch to another drug regimen, careful planning is needed. It can take two to three weeks for Viramune to be completely eliminated from the body, whereas it only takes other anti-HIV drugs a few days to be completely eliminated. If you stop taking a drug regimen that contains Viramune – for example, Viramune and Combivir – and do not immediately switch to another regimen, this would be like taking Viramune without any other medications, which can quickly lead to drug resistance. In turn, if you plan to stop a drug regimen that contains Viramune and do not plan on immediately switching to a new regimen, it is best to stop the Viramune first, several days before you stop the other anti-HIV drugs (for example, the Combivir). You should plan this out, with your healthcare provider, before stopping your drug regimen.



If there is anything you don't understand,about the information provided concerning these drugs don't hesitate to ask. Your doctor should probably be monitoring you very closely, the first few weeks, and should be taking blood tests, to make sure everything is going OK.

I can understand your hesitancy in starting on medication. But remember also, not everyone goes through terrible side effects from the medications. I took three days off from work, when I started on medication, just in case things were not going well, but it was something that I didn't need to do. Everything went ok, I am sure things will go well with you also. Drink plenty of water,( get into the habit of that) during the day after taking the meds. There are also no food restrictions with either of those medications.But I prefer to have a sandwich, after taking the meds.


Take care--------Ray
« Last Edit: September 24, 2006, 03:22:36 AM by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg 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


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline Christine

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,069
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2006, 11:38:46 AM »
Hi scaredpoz,
I have been on both of those meds and did well on them. Usually side effects occur the first 2-4 weeks, that is if you have any at all. Ray posted a lot of good information on the meds. Read through it, understand what you are taking and what the side effects could be. If you notice anything during the initial time, call your doctor.

Worst case scenario, if you find you just can not tolerate the meds, there are other options out there. Keep a good line of communication with your doctor, keep notes of how you are feeling so you can cover everything at your appointments. There are also meds available to help with some of the side effects if they were to occur. Hang in there.
Christine
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline sacredpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 15
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2006, 05:03:18 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input. I have been HIV positive for 10 years now and have struggled with this med thing. The longest I have been on them was 1 year and even then I didn't take them like I was suppose too but I did take them and my counts were good. My TCELL then were 849 and I was undetectable. My cholesterol () then went way up and my Doc thought that maybe it was the meds I was on so he switched my meds and this was like 8 months ago, well I never started the new meds and I have been off of them for 8 months.
Well last time I went in and had my blood work my doctor asked me if I was taking my medication and I said no and he said well I can see that due to the fact my viral load was 189 and my cd4 is 30,000 or something like that. I was somewhat disappointed because I for some reason thought that I could get by without taking them because I feel fine. Wishful thinking perhaps.
Doc told me that it looks like I will have to be on medication. I love my Doctor and the Sukey thing about him is he has left his practice, so now I have to find a new one... thanks again

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,114
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2006, 09:18:25 PM »
he said well I can see that due to the fact my viral load was 189 and my cd4 is 30,000 or something like that.


You've got those numbers inverted. I am assuming your viral load is 30,000, and your t-cell is 189. Are you currently on any anti-biotics, such as bactrim ?? Your at a critical point, at getting yourself some OI's. You don't need that to happen.


 Your thinking, isn't so much different to the way I was thinking back in 2003. I wasn't really feeling that bad, lots of fatigue, but overall getting things done daily. Then came the OI's.... The esophageal thrush, the progressive weight loss, and then bacterial pneumonia. I wish I could turn the clock back a little, because if I could, I would certainly not allowed myself to get into that mindset ( knowing what I know now) You need to be on some anti-biotics,( if you are not already, and you need to take them as prescribed... and you will need to get yourself started on the meds. You say you have been positive 10 years now, and have struggled with adherence to the meds.  The Epzicom is only once a day. The Viramune is twice a day,( one every 12 hours) AFTER THE INITIAL BREAK-IN PERIOD You need to seriously think about this. I know it's tuff, you don't want to end up in the hospital .... You need to start taking care of yourself.



Take care of yourself----------Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg 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


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline sacredpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 15
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2006, 10:55:39 AM »
Wow I guess I did have those numbers backwards. I always mess those up some how. Yes you are right on so many levels. I just keep telling myself and others that you have to be in the right mindset to start and I'm beginning to realize that I do not think I will ever be in the right mindset. I can and I do always have some excuse on why I can't start the medication. Why is that? Do I want to die? Its very troubling when I really stop and think about it.
I don't know if I have been stressing out about all of this or what but now I think I have the beginning of shingles but the weird thing about that is, it is on my lower right side of my stomach, and its red little bumps and it hurts to touch. I have had them before and they usually start on my back. Could be nothing but I am watching it. I have also had night sweats two nights in a row, so bad that I have had to wipe my chest with my shirt that's beside the bed. I know this is even more reason to start the meds, but yet I still struggle.
I am not on anti biotics. Maybe by writing this all down on this forrum will help. I'm hoping so.

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,878
  • the one and original newt
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2006, 03:38:18 PM »
It's natural to be scared before starting meds, I mean, I was, it's kinda a watershed.  It's also hard to get past the urban myths about how horrible, toxic etc meds must be.  Because, sometimes they are, but they are pussy cats compared to, say, IV acyclovir for herpes, many kinds of antibiotics etc etc etc.

Combo is a choice, not an obligation. If you are not ready to do it, and do it properly, like take yr meds on time every time, n put up with a couple of perhaps (or perhaps not) rough weeks, then wait.

It's a bit like a first parachute jump, scary, but it can be exhilarating, starting won't necessarily be a downer experience. Consider, you may feel better, I mean tons better, on combo.

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

Offline bubble

  • Member
  • Posts: 70
  • hanging in there.
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2006, 10:48:52 PM »
i totally understand your fear of the meds. I'm about to have to start taking them too and i'm stressing out about it. But I'm much more afraid of the OI and the HIV than the pills. We are lucky it's 2006 and not 1986. Count your blessings and take your medicine. We can compare notes in a few weeks. We're all here for you.
diagnosed 03/08/05
reluctantly started my first combo (Kaletra/Truvada) on 09/28/06 cause my tcells were dropping and vl increasing.
01/26/07 - undetectable!
12/01/08 - started new combo because of problems with Kaletra. Now on Truvada/Isentress.
Still undetectable. :)

Offline blondbeauty

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,784
Re: Suppose to start on my meds but I am
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2006, 02:24:40 PM »
It is normal to be scared. You wouldn´t be human if you were not...But I started meds 6 weeks ago and I don´t regret my decision.
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
Started Sustiva-Truvada 14/August/2006
Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

 


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