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Author Topic: Atripla - my first 2 weeks  (Read 2755 times)

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Offline jonny81

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • "Fall seven times, stand up eight"
Atripla - my first 2 weeks
« on: February 25, 2010, 09:32:53 PM »
Hi guys - this is a FANTASTIC resource so I decided to log on to do my bit and and share my experiences, in case there is someone out there who will find it useful. I read the posts of others during the last few days and it really helped me out.
 
Ok. Been HIV+ for about 9 years on no meds, but, inevitably have had to start. Doctor started me on Atripla as easy to take.

I take it at 4pm UK time (I travel for work so I am never really in one timezone for any length of time) and have a new watch with the alarm set to same time no matter where I am. Just to be on the safe side took a month off work (I know some people can't do this).
 
Was aware of side effects from the leaftlet - but not really sure what to expect.

Days 1 - 8

The first week, the first few hours after the pill gave me a 'fuzzy head' drunk feeling that i couldn't shake - so had a nap every day to try and shake it. I can see why they recommend taking it at night -  to sleep through this. But that doesn't work for me. Dr also advised not to eat an hour before and two hours after pill.
 
I have not had any nausea - I was prescibed some Maxolon (Metoclopramide hydrochloride) just in case, but haven't needed it. I have a castiron stomach it seems.
 
Day 9

Right on cue! I came up with a blotchy rash on my chest and shoulders (i was like... ok.. here we go..) but was not worried as it was expected.
 
I went to Boots and picked up some over the counter Piriton (chlorphenamine maleate). This is apparently better than zyrtek FYI.

Day 10 - 12

Rash developed and all the blotches joined up together and my god I was in a miserable state and look like a big red lobster. Reminded me of when I had chicken pox as a kid! aaaarggh! i wanted to peel my skin off. I had two days and nights of no sleep. Irritated and frustrated.

Day 13

I went to the Doctor and asked if this reaction was normal and she said yes, it's a textbook reaction to the Efavirenz (apparently so 'textbook' that she went and got two students to show them. Sigh.) She prescribed me some Hydroxyzine tablets (25mg) to take IN ADDITION to the Piriton. This is another type of antihistamine - but also chills you out. So I quite like taking it ;-)

Day 14

Taking the Atripla once daily and the antihistamines regularly thoughout the day to combat the rash and the additional Hydroxyzine at night just to top up/aid sleep.
 
Had another awful nights 'sleep' woke up a few times. Drenched in sweat - did not know I could sweat so much. But it seems antihistamines are working - rash is now only on my legs. Skin is blanching (when you press skin and it stays white for a few seconds) and irritated/prickly. Like sunburn.

Day 15

Seem to be back to normal - very relived to get back to my normal routine.
 
I will update this post if things change at all, as still very early stages. But after 2 weeks it all seems ok and hassle free.
 
Hope this helps someone - things I would DEFINATELY recommend to help ease discomfort:

Use the antihistames regularly thoughout the day.
Drink A LOT of water... and i mean a lot. Always have a big bottle next to you and take sips even if ur not thirsty.
Try and keep your shower/bath cooler than normal as heat aggrivates rash.

I will update this post if things change at all, as still very early stages. But after 16 days it all seems ok and hassle free.

Jon

Offline Brooke P.

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
  • The Best men in the world, my Dad and my Son!
Re: Atripla - my first 2 weeks
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2010, 09:53:27 PM »
Hey there!  Welcome to the forums.  I started taking Atripla back in October and have had some side effects that have some and gone.  Just recently I'll wake up around 2am and toss and turn until time to get up.  Also I've noticed that my hands fall asleep while I'm sleeping.  Even if I'm sleeping on my back with my hands on m stomach it still happens.  Also for the past 2 weeks or so I feel like I have arthritis in the morning when I first wake up.  It takes me about 30 minutes before that stiffness / achiness goes away! 

Just thought I'd share some of my experience with you.

Brooke
Feb. 2003 -tested positive
Started Kaletra and Combivir
2/26/03  CD4=1080   VL=218,333
3/3/03    CD4=1072   VL=546,010
4/10/03  CD4=1886   VL=1901
12/23/03 CD4=1711   VL=<50
STOPPED MEDS IN JUNE 2004
STARTED BACK WHEN I GOT PREGNANT
9/2009  CD4=274    VL=199,420
WENT 4 YEARS WITHOUT MEDS NOW I'M BACK ON MEDS, ATRIPLA
11/2009 CD4=574    VL=350
2/24/2010 CD4=851 VL=48

Offline jonny81

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • "Fall seven times, stand up eight"
Re: Atripla - my first 2 weeks
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 01:46:51 PM »
Oh thanks for response that's cool. I think it's fascinating the way it effects different people different ways.

Today everything is totally fine drinking loads... I don't have a fuzzy head any more, or that horrid foggy sensation. It's now quite the opposite. But I have noted on here that others have reported a 'high' feeling, like being on speed. I can report I feel exactly the same.

I'm moving house at the moment and so far today I've packed a dozen boxes, bleached the skirting boards, cleaned the oven and the bathrooms and now I'm on a ladder wiping down the light fittings... erm... yeah.

Total reversal from the couch-ridden, foggy-headed, rash covered person a few days back. Bizarre!

Offline Brooke P.

  • Member
  • Posts: 33
  • The Best men in the world, my Dad and my Son!
Re: Atripla - my first 2 weeks
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 03:07:24 PM »
I know what you mean my doctor suggested that I should take a week off from work when I started meds but I didn't really have the time to take off.  I got the fuzzy headed feeling for a few days but that is all gone, except for when I eat spaghetti, weird.  I escaped the rash that seems to bother most.  I have a pretty physical job so I had a tough time at work there for a bit. 

I did notice that last night my hands didn't fall asleep/tingle.  Thank god because that was starting to really worry me.  This doctor did give me anti-inflammatory for the achiness and I started taking it today so I'll see how that is in the morning. 

Have a great weekend!

Brooke
Feb. 2003 -tested positive
Started Kaletra and Combivir
2/26/03  CD4=1080   VL=218,333
3/3/03    CD4=1072   VL=546,010
4/10/03  CD4=1886   VL=1901
12/23/03 CD4=1711   VL=<50
STOPPED MEDS IN JUNE 2004
STARTED BACK WHEN I GOT PREGNANT
9/2009  CD4=274    VL=199,420
WENT 4 YEARS WITHOUT MEDS NOW I'M BACK ON MEDS, ATRIPLA
11/2009 CD4=574    VL=350
2/24/2010 CD4=851 VL=48

Offline jonny81

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
  • "Fall seven times, stand up eight"
Re: Atripla - my first 2 weeks
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2010, 03:30:51 PM »
Alright brooke?

Yeah I didn't WANT to take time off - i got it rostered to me! Our health department is really good with ppl with HIV and they actually told me to take some time off to start the meds. I feel if i have a fuzzy head/dizzyness, I'd rather just get on with work rather than sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

Quite good u have a physical job - I think staying active/fit is SO key in all of this.

But, because of the rash, I'm glad I did stay home... yikes... anyhoo:

Day 20

Probably will not need to write any more about this now - have settled into this med it appears.

A bit of an odd taste in my mouth (but breath smells normal, no tongue discolouration) and is a bit dry. But I'm getting on with work and life like normal. Hopefully that was it for side effects!

Cheers!

Jon

Offline northernguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,347
Re: Atripla - my first 2 weeks
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 12:43:55 AM »
Hey there!  Welcome to the forums.  I started taking Atripla back in October and have had some side effects that have some and gone.  Just recently I'll wake up around 2am and toss and turn until time to get up.  Also I've noticed that my hands fall asleep while I'm sleeping.  Even if I'm sleeping on my back with my hands on m stomach it still happens.  Also for the past 2 weeks or so I feel like I have arthritis in the morning when I first wake up.  It takes me about 30 minutes before that stiffness / achiness goes away! 

Just thought I'd share some of my experience with you.

Brooke

I'm glad somebody else had the tingling.  My left arm and soemtimes hands do it.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

 


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