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Author Topic: Epzicom side effects  (Read 2922 times)

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Offline AnonymousGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Epzicom side effects
« on: August 18, 2012, 12:33:11 PM »
Hi everyone.
I'm brand new to this site and I am supposed to start taking Epzicom in 2 weeks.  I have to stop taking Truvada because my creatinine levels are creeping upwards.  I am VERY scared to start the new med because of the long list of side effects and was hoping someone out there could offer some encouraging information.  I'm looking to find out if the side effects go away after a short time or are they long lasting.
thanks.  A G
Positive since Feb, 1994.

662 T cells 11/14/12

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 24,141
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 12:58:19 PM »
The biggest thing with this med is the "hypersensitivity" issue. It's a very serious side effect, but these days (as opposed to when it first came out) they give you a test before putting you on the med to tell if this will happen. As far as the other side effects listed, they are only possibilities and effect a small amount of patients. If you bother to look up other HIV meds they generally list a long laundry list too. The bottom line is that Epzicom is the second most prescribed med in the NRTI class exactly because it is least likely to cause problems.

Other than that, also read here the section in side effects about lactic acidosis, as that is important to know about. Again, most patients will not experience this issue, but you should be aware of it so if it happens you let your doctor know. It happened to me (nausea and stomach discomfort -- and I don't mean mild but severe) so they immediately took me off of it and I went on something else.

Again, the list sounds scarier than it is, but there are possible issues that a doctor should make the patient aware of so that they know to alert the doctor if something possibly occurs.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,885
  • the one and original newt
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 02:22:24 PM »
If you passed the abacavir allergy test, it is very unlikely you will have any side effects. The side effects list is long because 1) abacavir was approved many years ago when lipoatrophy etc was common (but not from abacavir) 2) if you do get the allergy it's serious (defining characteristic is fever not rash).

Allergy aside, abacavir is perhaps one of the most side effect free drugs in the nuke class. Obviously, the proof, as for every individual taking any medicine, is in the eating.

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

Offline ad2san

  • Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 03:46:38 PM »
Hi there, I agree with Miss P and Newt. I am on Epzicom myself and had no side effect at all, in fact much better than truvada (no more uncontrolled farting)  ;D
Feb   2009 CD4 358 VL 2000 16%
May  2009 CD4 305 VL 3069  14% <---- Started TVD+ATZ/r
Jul  2009 CD4 512 VL <50   18%
Jul 2010 CD4 418 VL <50 24%                     
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Norvir + Reyataz (due to sleep problem)
Aug 2010 CD4 606 VL <50 25%
Jul 2011 CD4 494 UD 23%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Viramune XR (due to kidney problems)
January 2012 CD4 564 UD 31%
October 2012 CD4 684 UD 29%
January 2013 CD4 594 UD 26%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Isentress due to BIG increase GammaGT
Feb 2013 CD4 699 UD 28%
May 2013 CD4 385 UD 28%
July 2013 CD4 CD4 636 UD 25%
Oct 2013 CD4 588 UD 39%
Aug 2014 CD4 639 UD 25%

Offline eric48

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  • Posts: 1,179
  • @HIVPharmaCure & tinyurl.com/HIVPharmaCure
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 06:02:26 PM »
Welcome here!

When reading through post on this forum you will find that very few (if any) of those who switched to Epzicom  have complaints.

IMHO, (hypersensitivity put aside), SE are a different ball game depending if you are treatment naive (which I was, and you are not) or treatment experienced.

The side effects is long but most of them (hypersensitivity put aside) are the usual SE of iniitating HAART itself.

Long term side effets are debated over and over and they do exists (as you have experienced yourself with you previous regiment), they may exists with ABC (a mostly culprit in this coformulated pill) in the same fashion/prevalence that they exist with other drugs

As treatment naive, I think I may have suffered from every single one listed (but not hypersensitivity nor liver damage): constipation, headackes, chest pain, nerve pain, gas, (no diarrhea, BTW), anxiety, mood change, heartbeat change, sleep issues,hypertension...you name it.

they lasted for a little while, then went out and found another victim to work on.

very Mild and bearable. Never missed a day at work.

So altogether, there is no complaints here

If you pass the hypersensitivity HBL*** test succesfully, hypersensitivity's risk is less than 1%... (otherwise risk is 6%)

The pill a somewhat larger so a sip of water may be needed.

I have hard a time finding the right timing for me. the assistant at the clinic told me it can be rough and should be taken at nights. Which I did. Due to sleep issues, I tried to move it to the mornings: that was a disaster... move it back at nights for a few monhs. Then back again in the morning, which worked fine...

Recently (for an unrelated reason) I tried to move it again at nights. I lasted 2 days! I'm back in the mornings

When I expressed concerns to my doc about all those SE, he shrugged off . That pissed me off a bit, but honnest looking back, he was right

You should be doing fine

Hope this helps

Eric

NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 2 months

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2012, 01:51:27 AM »
Hello Anon,

As others have suggested, if you had the allergy/sensitivity test for the Abacavir portion of the Epzicom, and, and you had no problem with that test, Epzicom should be an easy drug for you to take.

I never had that test done, back in 2003, so I didn't know until after I had been on Abacavir, whether, there would be a problem or not.

I was started on the separate doses ( at that time ) of 2 times a day Abacavir, and 2 times a day of Epivir.

When I made the switch to Epzicom, the only thing I noticed, was some sensitivity to light.  This was mostly at nighttime, and while driving. I noticed that car headlights seems brighter, street lights seemed brighter, and I was getting a "halo" effect, around the lights.

That cleared up quite quickly, ( within days) and really wasn't a problem as much as it was an annoyance.

Good luck with Epzicom, No problems here. You can take it with or without food.  I prefer to take mine with food, and I take all my medications with a full glass of water.


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 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline AnonymousGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 05:22:16 PM »
Hi everyone.
  I spoke to my dr. today about starting the new drug, and he assured me that since I passed the hypersensitivity test I should have no problem with the long list of possible allergic reactions.  He also told me that the SE of the drug shouldn't be a problem either.  So I'm taking his word for it that the transition will be a fairly smooth one.  In a month or so, I will let you all know how it's going... hopefully all will be ok.
  Thanks to all you nice people who responded to my post.  It may well be that this forum site will prove to be a welcome place to drop by for updates and things like that.  I'm not comfortable talking about this stuff in person to friends (and NEVER to family) so this will be the place where I ask for help or a shoulder or whatever I need to get over the latest hurdle.
  Till next time,

A B
Positive since Feb, 1994.

662 T cells 11/14/12

Offline keven

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 10:23:14 PM »
I have taken Epzicom for four years with no side effects.

The issue I have is a financial one relating to the patient co-pay program.  They say they reimburse up to $100 per month for those with private insurance.  The problem is that I have to order a 90 day supply and my co-pay is $250 for a three month supply or $83 per month.  While the program says it pays up to $100 per month, it actually reimburses $100 per order so if youíre insurance requires a 90 day supply, they will only reimburse $100 regardless of the co-pay.  Boo. 

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,185
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 11:01:25 PM »
I moved from Tru to Epzicom due to my Kidneys tanking . I've been on Epzicom for 1.5 years and can report zero side effects, not even an errant fart. 8)

Had some nausea and GI issues a few days in, but I always get those when I change meds. It went away soon thereafter.

Just be sure once you start that you report any weird stuff to your doc immediately.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 10:00:45 PM »
Anonymous guy

I saw your posts and wanted to join in and say that Epzicom has been problem-free for me so far.  In fact, using Epzicom allowed me to change my other HIV drug to something that doesn't raise my cholesterol (Reyataz without a norvir booster), so I was actually able to stop my cholesterol lowering drugs too.

Good luck with it!


I have taken Epzicom for four years with no side effects.

The issue I have is a financial one relating to the patient co-pay program.  They say they reimburse up to $100 per month for those with private insurance.  The problem is that I have to order a 90 day supply and my co-pay is $250 for a three month supply or $83 per month.  While the program says it pays up to $100 per month, it actually reimburses $100 per order so if youíre insurance requires a 90 day supply, they will only reimburse $100 regardless of the co-pay.  Boo.

Kevin

Epzicom is a combination pill -- two drugs, each of which is now available as a generic.  You might want to see if your plan has any co-pay for generic drugs (many don't).  If not, it might be worth while to switch to the separate pills -- of course, it would mean taking more pills but it might mean less money.  I've talked to my ID doc and I'm going to switch over when I run through my current supply -- unless a generic version of Epzicom comes out in the interim.


Best

A
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline AnonymousGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2012, 08:34:12 AM »
Hi again.

It's been a week of taking Epzicom, and the diarrhea has started.  I hope it goes away soon.  It's been going on a couple of days now.  This really sucks.  The last time I had this problem was way back when I was taking Viracept, and I suffered for 2 full years with water coming out.  It was absolute hell.  This better not end up being the same problem.
A G
Positive since Feb, 1994.

662 T cells 11/14/12

Offline Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 24,141
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2012, 10:37:53 AM »
Hi again.

It's been a week of taking Epzicom, and the diarrhea has started.  I hope it goes away soon.  It's been going on a couple of days now.  This really sucks.  The last time I had this problem was way back when I was taking Viracept, and I suffered for 2 full years with water coming out.  It was absolute hell.  This better not end up being the same problem.
A G

Are you taking loperamide/imodium for this?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline ad2san

  • Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2012, 10:42:51 AM »
Hi again.

It's been a week of taking Epzicom, and the diarrhea has started.  I hope it goes away soon.  It's been going on a couple of days now.  This really sucks.  The last time I had this problem was way back when I was taking Viracept, and I suffered for 2 full years with water coming out.  It was absolute hell.  This better not end up being the same problem.
A G

Take it easy anonymous ... it may have nothing to do with Epzicom at all. As miss P mentioned loperamid (ammonium) may help as well as psyllium husk (sounds stupid, I am not a parallel medecine type of guy but psyllium husk always worked great for me when having that kind of problems).

Cheers
Feb   2009 CD4 358 VL 2000 16%
May  2009 CD4 305 VL 3069  14% <---- Started TVD+ATZ/r
Jul  2009 CD4 512 VL <50   18%
Jul 2010 CD4 418 VL <50 24%                     
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Norvir + Reyataz (due to sleep problem)
Aug 2010 CD4 606 VL <50 25%
Jul 2011 CD4 494 UD 23%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Viramune XR (due to kidney problems)
January 2012 CD4 564 UD 31%
October 2012 CD4 684 UD 29%
January 2013 CD4 594 UD 26%
Switched to Kivexa (Epzicom) + Isentress due to BIG increase GammaGT
Feb 2013 CD4 699 UD 28%
May 2013 CD4 385 UD 28%
July 2013 CD4 CD4 636 UD 25%
Oct 2013 CD4 588 UD 39%
Aug 2014 CD4 639 UD 25%

Offline jimbalaya

  • Member
  • Posts: 88
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2012, 11:11:08 AM »
Take it easy anonymous ... it may have nothing to do with Epzicom at all. As miss P mentioned loperamid (ammonium) may help as well as psyllium husk (sounds stupid, I am not a parallel medecine type of guy but psyllium husk always worked great for me when having that kind of problems).

Cheers

I'll echo the psyllum husk recommend...it's worked great for me over the years....much better than regular fiber pills...it's worth a try.   Good luck!

Offline eric48

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  • Posts: 1,179
  • @HIVPharmaCure & tinyurl.com/HIVPharmaCure
Re: Epzicom side effects
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 05:10:53 PM »
I'll echo the psyllum husk recommend...

same here... I was suffering from ... constipation ... for about 18 months after starting the meds. Gone with the wind (and gaz)

recently I am starting an unrelated cholesterol lowering drugs: same : a bit constipation.

I guess it is also related to the patient, not 100% to the drug iself

Hope this helps

Eric
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 2 months

 


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