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Sustiva works....but

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Dboy:
...you have to work on it too!

I got the results of my first four weeks on sustiva and truvada and great news...I'm undetectable already.  Well my baseline viral load was only 10,000 when I started but we have been watching the CD4 drop over the years from 400 or so to below 280 and it was time. I have a great doctor and take an active role in my healthcare.  My doctor and I have watched these numbers go up and down but the trend was inescapable.  Great results on the drugs though.  Once a day, two tablets. 

But sustiva is a powerful drug and it does all of things that the lessons section talk about.  They are survivable and I don't want to scare anyone who is at the point of starting.  I began on a Friday night and went to work the next Monday.  I have travelled twiced for work to the left coast and survived the time change and drug taking schedule changes.  You sure do have to do some planning to make sure you take your drugs correctly. 

Here I am now one month into the drugs and sleep is still an issue.  Sometimes I fall right off to sleep, sometimes not.  My doctor was worried when she saw me last week for my usual 9am appointment and I was still half asleep.  She suggested taking the drugs earlier.  We are going to watch this for the next several weeks.

No observable problems with food or fatty foods.  Sometimes folks say that can cause tummy problems but not for me.  But then everyone is different.

My total cholesterol is fine at 180 but the trigylcerides blew up to 350.  Looks like I will try to watch the cabs to get this down.  All other blood work looks good.

I guess the bottom line is that starting treatment is not just taking the drugs but managing the taking of the drugs and their effects.  Well,  we'll see how this works.

David 

JohnOso:
David,

That's wonderful news about your undetectable status !  I have been taking Sustiva/Truvada since the beginning of February, and (knock on wood) i've had no major problems except for a very mild rash on my arms and face, which has since vanished.

The electric dream side effects seems to have worn off too in the meantime...at least I don't seem to remember too much anymore when I wake up, unlike those first few weeks of starting treatment. 

However, I can tell a big difference in the "stoned" side effects if I eat a high-fat meal right before I go to bed.  My problem is my hubby can't just run over and hug/kiss me when I get home from the hospital each night at 11:30 p.m.  Oh no -- he has to have some beef/pork/enchilada concoction waiting for me in the oven "so I don't lose weight."

Consequently, by the time I get onto the website here, my head is spinning around.  Guess it beats going down to the Medical Marijuana clinic down on the corner.

My next set of labs in August will include a lipid panel (last set a year ago, pre-HAART, was normal).  I might add that my liver transaminases were approaching 200 when I was diagnosed with AIDS in late December, but now they are back to normal on HAART (which I find simply amazing).

Take care (and take your pills),
John

blondbeauty:
Everything you are both telling sound quite good to me. Specially considereing that is going to be my first regime. :D

Duude:
Hi blonde,
     I started Sustiva and Truvada April 10 and my first labs taken at 1 month were good news to me.  My cd4 went from 187 to 288 and vl went from 93,000 down to 834.  So I was pleased with that.  In all honesty though, the Sustiva has caused emotional problems and sleep issues.  I sought help and take zoloft for the depression and trazodone to sleep.  I now get sleep every night yet need to work on the depression/unmotivation connection a bit more.  I just try to keep in mind it is a phase that will be worked out and that I need to stick with it.  Manage side effects the best you can and give the meds a good chance to work.
Duude

Bartro:
Congratulations on the great labs.  I've been taking the Truvada and Sustiva for about six weeks now.  The side effects have been minimal.  I still get really tired about an hour and a half after taking them.  I don't mind since before this I had trouble sleeping.  My labs have greatly improved.  I'm glad I started treatment.  Once you get a routine going it's not so bad.

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