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Author Topic: Atripla pill swallowing  (Read 6594 times)

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Offline runnergal

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Atripla pill swallowing
« on: July 10, 2010, 02:06:07 PM »
I am concerned about how my dad is getting his Atripla down.  He has a VERY hard time swallowing the large pill,  so he swishes the pill with water for about 1/2 hour to get it down.   He is 67, and weak, so I don't know at this point if he could get the pill down any other way.  Do you think this would ruin the effectiveness of the meds,  and does Atripla come in any other form than the large orange pill?

Offline Ann

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 02:17:47 PM »
No, there's only one Atripla.

There is an alternative - he could take the three meds in Atripla in their single forms. It would mean taking more pills, but they're smaller. Check out the component meds of Atripla in the drugs section.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline newt

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 09:46:26 AM »
Atripla is efavirnez, emtricitabine and tenofovir in one tablet

Efavirenz (Sustiva) comes in a reasonaly large 600mg tablet (the daily does is 600mg) and in 200mg capsules

Emtricitabine (Emtriva) + tenofovir (Viread) come combined in one pill called Truvada, or separately as a capsule and pill respectively

The difference might be swallowing 2 or 3 tabs rather than 1, could this be better? or just more trouble cos it's more swallowing?

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

Offline Ann

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2010, 11:03:03 AM »

Efavirenz (Sustiva) comes in a reasonaly large 600mg tablet (the daily does is 600mg) and in 200mg capsules


Ah, that's right, I forgot that 600mg Sustiva is also a horse-pill. My bf takes the much smaller 200mg capsules, so that's what I was thinking of. Sorry!
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2010, 11:38:00 AM »
People swallow larger chunks of pieces of food daily.  This pill issue is psychological/anxiety centered, IMO.  First the patient must realize it's psychological, then address the topic as one of technique.  It may help to put the pill in a small dixie cup or juice glass, then throw it in the back of your mouth that way, and then immediately chase it down with a separate glass of water in a quick manner.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2010, 11:42:06 AM »
People swallow larger chunks of pieces of food daily.  This pill issue is psychological/anxiety centered, IMO.  First the patient must realize it's psychological, then address the topic as one of technique.  It may help to put the pill in a small dixie cup or juice glass, then throw it in the back of your mouth that way, and then immediately chase it down with a separate glass of water in a quick manner.

I think Philly is right on the money, I take my atripla along with 3 other pills all at the same time.  I do know people who balk at taking tylenol though.  Taking thirty minutes seems...cumbersome at best, although short of putting it in a piece of cheese or rubbing his throat while he has it in his mouth I don't know how you could make him do it any faster.

PS:  Watch the scene from "Baby Momma" where Tina Fey is trying to get Amy Pohler to take Pre-natal vitamins.

Offline Ann

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2010, 11:55:51 AM »
Given how ill Runnergal's father has been, I wouldn't be surprised that part of his eating/swallowing issue is to do with thrush. She also states that he is very weak. Don't forget that the "larger chunks of food" we all eat everyday aren't hard, unforgiving lumps like pills are. So don't be so quick to put it down to a psych issue.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2010, 12:20:06 PM »
Saying something is/could be psychologically centered isn't a put down, though I'm unclear if that's what you intended to say.  If the patient has thrush you're probably correct, but the OP made no mention of this.  It's not as if this issue doesn't surface on this board over and over with the folks new to taking medication on a daily basis, and it's undeniable that there's a large psychological component to taking HIV medications for the first time.  It's not rocket science.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Boze

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2010, 05:32:47 PM »
I find it easier to swallow pills with yogurt. The more dense the liquid, the less you notice the pill.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline runnergal

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2010, 08:41:24 PM »
I think it is partly weakness, partly psychological.  I had him take it an hour earlier last night so he was less tired,  and it went down a little easier (although still half and hour swishing in his mouth).  Thanks for your suggestions.

Offline Ann

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2010, 04:14:18 PM »
Saying something is/could be psychologically centered isn't a put down, though I'm unclear if that's what you intended to say.

No, I wasn't saying it was a put down. When I said "So don't be so quick to put it down to a psych issue." I meant that a psych issue wasn't necessarily the reason he's having trouble. That's all.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline runnergal

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2010, 04:28:05 PM »
Update- we had a rough night last night.  My dad swished his Atripla for a good 20 minutes (which is usual),  but then got up and spit it in the toilet - not good.   We weren't sure how much he had swallowed so to be careful,  we tried again at 6 am (within 12 hr window),  and he spit that again.  So we crushed one to get it down -  not ideal -  but I am kinda at a loss what to do at this point.

Offline Ann

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2010, 05:40:00 PM »
Runner, you're not supposed to cut or crush the pills. You'd be better off going to the doctor and asking for the separate meds - including the Sustiva in the 200mg caps. Tell the doc why you want to do this.

When you say he's swishing - is he trying to get the pill to dissolve? That's no good either. He needs to swallow them whole.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline runnergal

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2010, 06:53:02 PM »
We called his infectious disease doc, and he said it was better to take it whole,  but if we had to, crush it.  The pharmacist also said it was to be taken whole, but didn't see any "warnings" against crushing. 

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 07:28:12 PM »
If he's spitting the meds out that's a big problem.  It seems like he's not committed to taking the medicine...  That's kind of an issue and I'm not really sure what to tell you about that, perhaps trying smaller pills, but honestly atripla isn't that big.  I think the swishing is just a prelude to him wanting to spit it out.

Offline runnergal

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2010, 12:31:33 AM »
I honestly think he is just weak.  He is also suffering from AIDS induced dementia.  My dad has never taken medicine his whole life,  and never swallowed pills.  He took it OK crushed.  I am worried about this,  but I don't know what to do.... 

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2010, 01:08:37 AM »
I honestly think he is just weak.  He is also suffering from AIDS induced dementia.  My dad has never taken medicine his whole life,  and never swallowed pills.  He took it OK crushed.  I am worried about this,  but I don't know what to do.... 

Runner, you need to speak to the doctor about this. Ann is right, Atripla isn't designed to be taken crushed. It should be taken whole to work effectively.

There are other medications which are made in liquid form which might be easier for him to take.

MtD

Offline runnergal

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2010, 01:13:28 AM »
We talked to his doctor this morning (HIV doc),  and he said it was OK....  I am not fully convinced.  I wish they offered it in a liquid,  I will definately follow up and let you guys know.  One thing for sure,  whether its pyschological or weakeness he cannot swallow the whole pill at this point.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2010, 01:26:54 AM »
We talked to his doctor this morning (HIV doc),  and he said it was OK....  I am not fully convinced.  I wish they offered it in a liquid,  I will definately follow up and let you guys know.  One thing for sure,  whether its pyschological or weakeness he cannot swallow the whole pill at this point.

Well if his doctor says it's ok, then go with it. Doctor advice almost always trumps advice given on an internet forum.

MtD

Offline runnergal

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2010, 01:30:05 AM »
Well I hope he right,  he has over 23 years experience working with HIV patients.  I still worry though, but I am hoping that he has had patients who were unable to swallow the pill in the past. 

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2010, 01:38:05 AM »
Well I hope he right,  he has over 23 years experience working with HIV patients.  I still worry though, but I am hoping that he has had patients who were unable to swallow the pill in the past. 

Doll if that's what he says to do, do it.

MtD

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2010, 08:10:24 AM »
Given how ill Runnergal's father has been, I wouldn't be surprised that part of his eating/swallowing issue is to do with thrush. She also states that he is very weak. Don't forget that the "larger chunks of food" we all eat everyday aren't hard, unforgiving lumps like pills are. So don't be so quick to put it down to a psych issue.


This could very well be.  I remember how difficult it was swallowing , when I had Candida.

But if this is not the case, how about trying one of these.  I've never used one, so I can't tell you how effective they are.

Most drugstores should carry , this item or something similar ; Perhaps it will help..


http://www.oralflo.com/


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 Ann

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2010, 08:45:42 AM »
Ray, that's quite a find. Sounds like everyone should have one in their home. It sounds very similar to the technique I use to take pills - I chuck them into the back of my mouth and immediately take a big gulp of water while throwing my head back. I can take quite a few at once using this method.

Runner, there's a page on that website that has different ideas to try to help him swallow. One that I thought might be easy for you is to butter the pill before you give it to him. I hope you can find a shop that carries these cups or that you can order one online. In the meantime, the article should give you some additional methods to try.

http://www.oralflo.com/difficulty_swallowing_pills.htm

And by the way, he takes other pills, doesn't he? If he's not having trouble with the other pills, then I really don't think it's a psych issue. For some people, large pills are just difficult to swallow.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline runnergal

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2010, 01:07:39 PM »
Thanks for the Oraflo site Ray,  I never knew these pill swallowers existed, I will definately try it out!

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Atripla pill swallowing
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2010, 07:43:30 AM »
Thanks for the Oraflo site Ray,  I never knew these pill swallowers existed, I will definately try it out!

Your welcome !! Let us know how this works out.

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.

 


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