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Author Topic: Started Complera a month ago  (Read 28945 times)

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Offline Torchwood

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2012, 11:44:31 PM »
I started complera 10 days ago. God I feel like I should go on disability.  Feeling lightheaded, noxious, no energy.  This is the 1st time I take any hiv meds.  Please tell me is going to get better.  I feel like blowing monkey chunks.   :-[

It gets better with time. If you go through this thread, you'll see that I have chronicled my ordeal fairly well over the past year. I keep my posts in Word as well and print that out for my doctors.


Some new info on my situation.

Like many, I naturally have the testosterone level of a 70yo. For the past year and a half I have been taking testosterone shots twice weekly. Well, my estrogen levels are at 107 right now. Really high. According to my nutrition/hormone doc, this is the reason I have been feeling like absolute shit, depressed, low energy, joints hurting,  and inability to lose weight for the past 6 months. I start some new medication tomorrow to reduce the estrogen levels. I am also now off of the progesterone, metformin (been borderline type 2 diabetic for years..blood sugar has actually gone down with diet and exercise) and a couple of other supplements I have been on. I am determined to drop at least 20# before Christmas..aiming for 25#. I have a week in Vegas coming up that will blow any diet so I am being realistic. Still smoking. Xanax is down to 1mg and I am stable at that with no more withdrawals. I am now working out 15-30 minutes 3-4x a week on the cardioglide and have been for the past month. Still a fat bastard but I am down 10 pounds from last Spring.
Discovered 4/2006
VL: 1600
CD4: 1005
Started Complera 10/2011
VL: 48,500
CD4: 570
1/17/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 890
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 895
11/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1193
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1461
11/13
CD4: 1273
VL: Undetectable
5/14
CD4: 1788
VL: Undetectable

Offline Torchwood

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2012, 11:44:30 AM »
So for the latest update:

I have been working on changing medications and supplements with my doctors to find something that works for me. I dropped most of the supplements and started Arimidex to drop my estrogen levels. Body aches are mostly gone, went through a period of daily migraines, those are mostly gone. Dropped the Xanax down to 1mg per night. Quit taking the Metformin and Progestrone. I am no longer diabetic as I can control the blood sugar with my diet and exercise. I have now dropped 19# from last spring :) Down side of all this: My clothes don't fit :D

VL: Und
CD4: 1193 <--highest it has ever been since I started getting tested in 2006
Discovered 4/2006
VL: 1600
CD4: 1005
Started Complera 10/2011
VL: 48,500
CD4: 570
1/17/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 890
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 895
11/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1193
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1461
11/13
CD4: 1273
VL: Undetectable
5/14
CD4: 1788
VL: Undetectable

Offline gadawg1979

  • Member
  • Posts: 142
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2012, 04:41:29 PM »
I agree a larger meal helps the side effects.
Diagnosed March 2012
Initial CD4- 156 VL 200K (started Complera) Genotype test no resistance
First labs on meds CD4- 246 VL 2K Taken after 30 days on Complera
90 Day labs VL 306 No CD4 Drawn
8/21/2012 CD4 474 VL Undetectable (40) %20.6
11/27/2012 CD 4 522 VL Undetectable (40)
2/14/2013 CD 4 464 VL Undetecable (30) 19.6%
6/8/3013 CD 4 528 VL Undetectable (30)
9/24/2013 CD 4 546 VL Undetectable (40)
1/30/2014 CD4 560 VL Undetectable (40) 22 %
6/19/2014 CD4 584 Vl Undetecable (30)

Offline RobbyR

  • Member
  • Posts: 330
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2012, 03:22:08 PM »
I started Complera today, after being on Atripla for two years, mainly because I wanted to see if it not having the sustiva in it would improve my sleep at night. The two are very similar, other than Complera does not have the sustiva. I asked my doc about the calorie requirements when taking Complera, and she said it's no big deal, since most any average American meal today will be way way over 400 calories. Just to make sure, I had a cheeseburger and baked potato with chocolate milkshake before I took my first one lol. So I guess time will tell how it works out for me. But I am not anticipating any major adjustment, since Complera is very similar to the Atripla I tookl for so long, minus the efaviranz of course.
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline OneStrong

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #54 on: December 10, 2012, 05:02:39 PM »
I started Complera today.  I became HIV positive in March 2008, and have finally began/begun medicinal treatment.

My CD4% has stayed at 22% for the last 18 months, however my viral load which was at 37,564 in January 2012, is now at 45,123 with a CD4 count of 480...the first time it has ever dropped below 500.  I hope Complera works for me.  My ID doctor has her own pharmacist, the pharmacist didn't want me taking Atripla since I have anxiety...she was adamant about letting me take Complera because in the past I've taken Zantac and Pepcid for acid reflux...I had to promise that I wouldn't take such antacids while on Complera, etc.  She wanted to put me on 3 pills once a day, but there's no way I'd be able to pay $90 each month for a 30 day supply for the 3 pills a day regiment...so suffice to say, I am on Complera, and thank god for insurance...it cost me $30 copay...whereas without insurance it would have cost $1,800!! wtf

Anyway, this is my first time here! Welcome everyone.

Offline WindySkies

  • Member
  • Posts: 113
  • Tested + 10/11/12
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #55 on: December 10, 2012, 06:13:56 PM »
I started Complera today.  I became HIV positive in March 2008, and have finally began/begun medicinal treatment.

My CD4% has stayed at 22% for the last 18 months, however my viral load which was at 37,564 in January 2012, is now at 45,123 with a CD4 count of 480...the first time it has ever dropped below 500.  I hope Complera works for me.  My ID doctor has her own pharmacist, the pharmacist didn't want me taking Atripla since I have anxiety...she was adamant about letting me take Complera because in the past I've taken Zantac and Pepcid for acid reflux...I had to promise that I wouldn't take such antacids while on Complera, etc.  She wanted to put me on 3 pills once a day, but there's no way I'd be able to pay $90 each month for a 30 day supply for the 3 pills a day regiment...so suffice to say, I am on Complera, and thank god for insurance...it cost me $30 copay...whereas without insurance it would have cost $1,800!! wtf

Anyway, this is my first time here! Welcome everyone.

Sounds like you're on private insurance.  If so, save yourself that $30 copay to buy more shakes and burgers:

http://www.complera.com/complera-co-pay

That little card will cover your copay making your out of pocket cost for meds $0!  The card is easy to get and set up, just call the number and answer a bunch of questions the computer asks you.
10/11/2012 Journey Started
10/17/2012 First Labs: VL=57,645  CD4+=730  37%
10/31/2012 Started Complera
11/30/2012 Labs: VL=80  CD4+=929 40%
12/24/2012 Started Stribild

Undetectable since 1/15/13 CD4+= Over 1,400 and 49%

Offline OneStrong

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #56 on: December 10, 2012, 07:51:43 PM »
@WindySkies, I have Kaiser Permanente. They are an HMO. Kaiser has many medical offices and hospitals throughout SoCal, and they are an insurance company at the same time...I wonder if that card will work there. Would be cool if it did. Do you like Complera?

Offline WindySkies

  • Member
  • Posts: 113
  • Tested + 10/11/12
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #57 on: December 10, 2012, 09:08:31 PM »
@WindySkies, I have Kaiser Permanente. They are an HMO. Kaiser has many medical offices and hospitals throughout SoCal, and they are an insurance company at the same time...I wonder if that card will work there. Would be cool if it did. Do you like Complera?

It's worked fine for me so far, so no complaints.  I'm actually going to switch to Stribild at the end of the month, but that's only so I can get away from the 400 calorie requirement.  Since being diagnosed I have lost 25 pounds, gone from a 36 to 32 waist size, and am generally eating about 1/4 of what I used too.  So for me 400 calories is a lot, especially when it comes to eating healthy stuff.  I take my pill with breakfast so by the time I get to 400 calories I'm usually very full and close to over full.  It will be nice to take the new pill with an egg beaters omelet with low fat cheese, and only hit 200 calories!

Health wise Complera reduced my viral load from 57,000 down to 80 in a month, and increased my CD4 from 730 to 929.

Definitely look into the card, now a days $30 is a good amount!
10/11/2012 Journey Started
10/17/2012 First Labs: VL=57,645  CD4+=730  37%
10/31/2012 Started Complera
11/30/2012 Labs: VL=80  CD4+=929 40%
12/24/2012 Started Stribild

Undetectable since 1/15/13 CD4+= Over 1,400 and 49%

Offline dcity

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2013, 08:57:19 PM »
Hey all- I started Complera two months ago and I've been generally fine on it. No symptoms out of the ordinary, with the exception of some difficulty sleeping. My biggest concern is cost, however. I have insurance which covers about half of the cost and I am part of the Gilead assistance program but I am still paying upwards of $500 a month for the medication. Any input on how to lower that to a more manageable cost? Thanks!

Offline beentheredoneit

  • Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #59 on: January 27, 2013, 10:50:12 AM »
In my opinion, Complera is the same thing as Atripla in terms of side effects and the overall feel of the medication.  I have taken both and noticed no differences in the side effects level. 

Right now, I am looking to get switched just because I can't handle either of these treatments. They make my sleep schedule off, bring my mood down, cause anxiety, etc. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 10:54:18 AM by beentheredoneit »

Offline RobbyR

  • Member
  • Posts: 330
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2013, 07:59:50 PM »
The two are very similar, except Complera doesn't have the sustiva in it. On the brief time I was on it, my insomnia got way worse and my energy level crashed. I felt awful on it. I went back to Atripla!
Started Atripla August, 2010.

Offline oksikoko

  • Member
  • Posts: 680
  • Writing the congressman again
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2013, 09:12:18 PM »
Hey, Windy Skies. THis is 100% anecdotal, but I thought I'd share it. I've been on Stribild since December 14. I was diagnosed in November and this is my first treatment.

I don't know if it's the Stribild or not, but since I started it, I've had no appetite whatsoever. I'm not sick or queasy, I just don't ever want to eat anything. I forget to eat some days which isn't really like me. Well, wasn't like me. I'm asking around to see what other people are experiencing since it's so hard to tell what might be Stribild and what might be any other number of things that have changed since November. :-/

I don't mean to just pop in and cast aspersions just to be negative or anything like that, and sorry if this was counterproductive

It's worked fine for me so far, so no complaints.  I'm actually going to switch to Stribild at the end of the month, but that's only so I can get away from the 400 calorie requirement.  Since being diagnosed I have lost 25 pounds, gone from a 36 to 32 waist size, and am generally eating about 1/4 of what I used too.  So for me 400 calories is a lot, especially when it comes to eating healthy stuff.  I take my pill with breakfast so by the time I get to 400 calories I'm usually very full and close to over full.  It will be nice to take the new pill with an egg beaters omelet with low fat cheese, and only hit 200 calories!

Health wise Complera reduced my viral load from 57,000 down to 80 in a month, and increased my CD4 from 730 to 929.

Definitely look into the card, now a days $30 is a good amount!
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (?) off treatment ☣ CD4 (?) off treatment
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

If no one complains, nothing will ever change.

Offline texaninnyc87

  • Member
  • Posts: 247
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2013, 09:31:19 PM »
Don't go a whole day without food! You're supposed to take stribild with food anyways.
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD
9/14 cd4 439 (38%) vl: UD

Offline oksikoko

  • Member
  • Posts: 680
  • Writing the congressman again
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2013, 09:47:03 PM »
Yeah, the days are a little unstructured lately, so it's probably that that makes me forget. I always take the pill, though, because reminders go off on my phone in my e-mail and everywhere else until I take it. I'm afraid of drug resistance... I should probably start putting reminders to eat in there too. Or start smoking pot again, ha.

I like your $tribild sign. ;) My first bottle cost $160 with insurance, but $100 of that was some kind of administrative fee to the insurance company. I'm not quite as dumb as I sound (well, maybe)... I just was thinking of other things at the time and didn't want to get into it with an insurance company to figure it out at that exact moment. The next bottle (my current one) was a gift of Gilead's Patience Assistance Program, pending ADAP. Meanwhile, I got a letter on Friday from my old health insurance company saying that I couldn't get Stribild at the pharmacy like that again or there might be penalties or fees or something. I don't think this matters anymore, but I'm gonna make some calls to try to figure it out and confirm tomorrow. The last thing I need right now is a surprise bill for $420000 because I went to the wrong pharmacy...

Don't go a whole day without food! You're supposed to take stribild with food anyways.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (?) off treatment ☣ CD4 (?) off treatment
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

If no one complains, nothing will ever change.

Offline Torchwood

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #64 on: March 19, 2013, 07:26:08 AM »
Bleh. Going to get bloodwork done this week. Spent the past month sick. Noroviris wiped out everyone in the house. Then the kids passed around an eye infection. Then we all got sick with severe cold like systems. My wife was diagnosed with some bacterial infection. Went 5 days without eating, 2 days with no Complera. Still extremely low on energy, down to 255# and depressed most of the time. This will be interesting.
Discovered 4/2006
VL: 1600
CD4: 1005
Started Complera 10/2011
VL: 48,500
CD4: 570
1/17/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 890
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 895
11/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1193
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1461
11/13
CD4: 1273
VL: Undetectable
5/14
CD4: 1788
VL: Undetectable

Offline Torchwood

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: Started Complera a month ago
« Reply #65 on: May 12, 2013, 10:14:58 PM »
So, life has turned around quite a bit. Depression is gone. Still on the 1mg of Xanax daily. Still have a lot of gas if I don't take 4-6 Immodium AD every day. Latest test results are:

CD4: 1461 (another record high)
VL: UND  :D

My other test results were crap due to the being sick, stress of moving and a host of other ongoing issues. I have my life as normal as they get for me and am mostly feeling pretty damned good about being me. Weight is down to 253# now. Taking Advocare vitamins, breakfast shake with a banana mixed into the shake and their energy drink mix. Between the Advocare stuff and eating somewhat healthier, I even have had my energy levels restored back to normal.
Discovered 4/2006
VL: 1600
CD4: 1005
Started Complera 10/2011
VL: 48,500
CD4: 570
1/17/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 890
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 895
11/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1193
4/12
VL: Undetectable
CD4: 1461
11/13
CD4: 1273
VL: Undetectable
5/14
CD4: 1788
VL: Undetectable

 


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