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Author Topic: Started Prezista/Norvir/Truvada and I'm Tired and Depressed  (Read 3994 times)

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Offline sdguyloveslife

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  • Posts: 134
I tested positive in 04/09 and received an AIDS diagnosis (very low T %) so I just started meds over the past week.  My combo is Prezista/Norvir/Truvada.  My doc suggested we try to avoid Sustiva (such as the Atripla) because I suffer from depression/anxiety (dysthymia and GAD) and there are some CNS side effects possible with it. 

So far, side effects are mild nausea and diarrhea and I'm finding myself extremely tired throughout the day.  The weird effect is that I have become incredibly depressed and uncontrollably weepy (crying several times throughout the day).  Still taking my psych meds wellbutrin and prozac and occasional ativan for anxiety. 

Anyone ever experience something like this?  Doc says my combo has no CNS side effects, but I see that the PIs (especially Norvir) seem to have an impact on all sorts of meds.  Is this a legitimate "side effect" or am I just being overly sensitive and not done grieving my recent diagnosis? 
Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,512
  • 31 years positive, 59 years a pain in the butt
Re: Started Prezista/Norvir/Truvada and I'm Tired and Depressed
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 11:56:15 PM »
Hey Sdguy,

I believe your doctor was correct. I don't believe your regimen has any CNS side effects..

That said, if I were to hazard a guess, I would go with the latter. In other words, I think you may still be reeling from this very large change in your life. Feeling depressed, anxious, etc., would be normal reactions for anyone newly diagnosed.

As for being weepy, crying etc., Oh honey, I did that for months when I tested positive. I also drank myself into a stupor at every opportunity.

You just tested positive April 9 and wound up being handed an AIDS diagnosis shortly thereafter. You have every reason to shed those tears. Hell, you have every reason to rant, rave, shout and break up the furniture if you wish.

You didn't mention any opportunistic infections, so at least that is something for which to be thankful. I know that doesn't sound like much, but believe me, I have seen people who weren't so lucky.

I would like you to keep a few things in the back of your mind.

First, you're not alone in this. We are all in the same boat, leaky though it may be. You are also in luck, because there are a number of us who have lived with this bug for a long time, so if you have questions of concerns, you need but ask and I am sure someone will respond and try to help.

Second, the meds we have today are so very much better than those I started with 13 years ago. Those were some rough meds back then, but, that is another story.

So, post away with any thoughts, fears or questions. We're here for you.



« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 12:05:37 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline AndyArrow

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Re: Started Prezista/Norvir/Truvada and I'm Tired and Depressed
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 03:30:31 AM »
Welcome to the forums sdguy,

I would have to agree with everything Mark said and add that since you just started taking your meds they really haven't had time to start really fighting your infecting.  Just about anyone with an extremely low t-cell count is going to be tired.

Having nausea and diarrhea isn't going to help with your energy level either.  If your diarrhea doesn't improve I would recommend taking some Imodium.

Good luck,
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline sdguyloveslife

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  • Posts: 134
Re: Started Prezista/Norvir/Truvada and I'm Tired and Depressed
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 07:41:00 PM »
Thanks Andy & Mark!
It's great to find some support on here!  This is all so new to me -- so, as you can imagine, my biggest fears are talking about it and telling people.  I'm a little overwhelmed with everything.  I am grateful to be on meds - I hope this combo works well for me. 
I appreciate your responses.
Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Offline yairsinho

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  • Posts: 47
Re: Started Prezista/Norvir/Truvada and I'm Tired and Depressed
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2009, 11:44:55 AM »
    As Mark said, if there is something good in taking NOW your first meds, is because now a day meds are so much better, and doctors know alot more about how to give and what. I have a few similar Mental disorders, and years ago, as I found I'm poz, doc gave me Sustiva and I went mad..lost my job' my partener, my friends..  Now I'm also on the same combo (Truvada-Norvir-Prezista)..and got a few meds from my shrink/      Norvir gave me always diarheas, but I take 3 Imodium at once, avery day.

Energy and best mood  will come, as you get in better CD4 count, and the more you " digest" you POZ status!
Cheer up LOVE  ARNY
poz since 2002 (acute HIV infection)
CD4 450 VL<50
2003 no meds
2005 decided to go back to meds
Sustiva+Viread+Epivir (behavior troubles)2005
Kaletra+Viread+ Epivir
Norvir+Prezista+Truvada April 2009
CD4 750  VL<50
cd4 700  vl<40

Offline nbalt2

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  • Posts: 8
Re: Started Prezista/Norvir/Truvada and I'm Tired and Depressed
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 04:22:18 PM »


Well, misery loves or at least appreciates company.  I started recently on the same combo, after first trying Atripla which left me feeling a bit dizzy AND  fatigued/tired ... the switch to your combo has me not dizzy but still low energy (after 2+ mos).... &  depressed too now &   I am not sure what to do...

My Dr. and others seem  confident that the drugs do not cause these problems.... they may be right...but I stilll think they are at least part of the trouble...I think there must be an interaction w drugs or something !  I take Attention def drugs (ADD)... & my energy levels/focus CHANGED when I began taking the HIV meds.!  Now the depression thing may be reactions to this  along w other issues etc in my life...and this may be same for you!  But a real challenge & hard part for me is how to work thu this and consider the possibility that all these HIV meds (ie. even another combo)) will affect me (or you) the same way and can we adjust and look for ways to mitigate. 

I find the gym helps, swimming (esp outside in colder water!), protein shakes, and I am going to meet w a shrink to see about trying something else for the ADD/etc ...also i plan to ask about hormonal therapy!  I also think you can have your Dr. check Testosterone and Thyroid levels...mine were fine but you never know.  Good luck to you with this...

Offline sdguyloveslife

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  • Posts: 134
Re: Started Prezista/Norvir/Truvada and I'm Tired and Depressed
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2009, 02:19:32 AM »
Just giving a quick update...and a big thanks for the supportive posts.  This is one of my only outlets to talk with other HIV positive people. 

Prezista/Norvir/Truvada combo seems to be working well for me.  I've been on it about 3 weeks now and I just got new numbers today...went from less than 200 T's up to 554; and 63,000 viral load to 700.  My doc and I are pretty pleased! 

Side effects...well, they're still there...I'm gonna stick with this combo unless things get much worse; but I'm not sure the meds are entirely to blame.  Looking back on my blood tests, it looks like I've been "borderline anemic" - whether that's from meds, hiv, or something else, I don't know.  Probably need to gather more data.  Now we'll check B vitamin levels...

Also, thanks nbalt2, I am going to ask about the Testosterone and Thyroid. 
Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


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