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Author Topic: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.  (Read 2231 times)

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Offline gaynpositive

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Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« on: October 31, 2012, 02:22:17 AM »
Hi all,

I am GaynPositive from New Delhi, India. I am about to start my ART soon. I have a couple of questions regarding the same, hope some of you guys might have answers to them:

1.  Can i continue to take vitamin supplements, omega-3 fish oil supplements, etc. when i am on ART? Do they interfere with ART?

2.  Can i still drink alcohol occasionally when on ART? Or would i have to stop alcohol altogether?

3.  Can i take any other doctor-prescribed drugs for any other ailments when on  ART? i cannot tell my regular physicians (for general care, eye care, skin care, etc) that i have hiv and am on ART. So if i go to them for any regular medical care, n they prescribe whatever drugs/eye drops/topical creams/steroidal preparations ...can i take them without worrying about their reaction with ART, etc?

4.  How about taking ART while traveling? say, for example,  if i take ART at 11pm India time and i travel to London, do i need to still continue to take ART at 11pm india time which will be 5.30pm London time? or maybe i can skip one dose, and take ART at 11pm London time? similarly, when i come back to India, can i skip one dose, and restart taking ART at 11pm India time?

Thanks in advance for answering my queries. The doctors here in India do not welcome patient questions and most of the time, patients have to figure out answers themselves. But thankfully, I have you guys and this wonderful forum. So again, thanks a ton in advance. I have a lot of anxiety regarding starting ART, that my life somehow will be limited in certain way when I start ART. I am trying to overcome that anxiety. So please any words or any other advice is also welcome.

Regards,
GnP

Offline wolfter

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2012, 02:29:24 AM »
You might want to provide us with the meds you will be taking in order to give you some better responses.

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline gaynpositive

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 01:54:47 AM »
hey Wolfie,

Thanks for writing. I will be starting on the generic version of Atripla which is available in India.

GnP

Online leatherman

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 03:18:06 AM »
1.  Can i continue to take vitamin supplements, omega-3 fish oil supplements, etc. when i am on ART? Do they interfere with ART?

2.  Can i still drink alcohol occasionally when on ART? Or would i have to stop alcohol altogether?

3.  Can i take any other doctor-prescribed drugs for any other ailments when on  ART? i cannot tell my regular physicians (for general care, eye care, skin care, etc) that i have hiv and am on ART. So if i go to them for any regular medical care, n they prescribe whatever drugs/eye drops/topical creams/steroidal preparations ...can i take them without worrying about their reaction with ART, etc?

4.  How about taking ART while traveling? say, for example,  if i take ART at 11pm India time and i travel to London, do i need to still continue to take ART at 11pm india time which will be 5.30pm London time? or maybe i can skip one dose, and take ART at 11pm London time? similarly, when i come back to India, can i skip one dose, and restart taking ART at 11pm India time?
1. yes, vitamins etc are ok to take
2. yes, you can drink alcohol
3. no. some meds could interact. the prescribing doctor needs to know. best rule of thumb is to never lie to your health care provider - it could cost you your life if they mis-prescribe something.
4. easiest thing to do is to take it are your regular time. a few time zone changes aren't going to affect it

I have a lot of anxiety regarding starting ART, that my life somehow will be limited in certain way when I start ART. I am trying to overcome that anxiety. So please any words or any other advice is also welcome.
lots of people take lots of daily meds for a lot of reasons - but the main one being to stay healthy and alive. Don't get bogged down in thinking HIV meds are scary or magical. (be thankful you're not injecting insulin 3 times a day LOL) Meds are your friends - especially HIV meds.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline gaynpositive

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 10:43:08 AM »
Thanks so much Leatherman for answering my queries. yes! you are so right! Thank God i do not have to inject insulin three times a day!!  :) you have been very helpful.

thanks a ton,
GnP

Online leatherman

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 12:04:56 PM »
Thank God i do not have to inject insulin three times a day!!  :) you have been very helpful.
no problem! That's what this site is for - easy answers from people going through the same stuff and some support to get through it all.

After I mentioned the insulin injections, I was contacted by someone that does have to take the injections. As I explained to him, I meant no disrespect. Often just it's easier to deal with one of our own problems when we can put it into some perspective.

I use to take 8 tablespoons of liquid medicine and 20 pills scattered throughout the day back in 1995 or so. Comparing that to the 4 pills I take today makes this current regimen waaaay easier to take and deal with. ;) Thinking back to some regimens that made me literally throw up every single day to my current regimen that has me throwing up only 4 times a month makes me see this current regimen as the best solution ever! LOL (I have 2 life mottos, and one is "Any day I'm not in the hospital, even if it's a day I'm hanging over the toilet puking, is a GREAT day!" :D )

I can only imagine from seeing several of my friends how much of a pain in the butt it must be to prick yourself, test your blood, and give yourself an insulin injection 3 times a days. Not to mention having to always be on guard about when and what you are eating.  Compared to THAT, not eating fatty foods when taking one atripla every evening just can't be all that bad - especially when the end result is that it controls HIV down to an undetectable level ;) so that you can go on enjoying life and living it to the fullest.

now I just have to find a comparison that beats HIV meds daily AND insulin injections ::), so I can give my new friend some support too.  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline wolfter

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 10:57:10 PM »
Thinking back to some regimens that made me literally throw up every single day


I try not to lose patience with the newbies as that was our reality.  My bestie, the other Greg and numerous other close friends chose to stop their meds because they felt death would be easier than the horrid existence those life saving drugs caused.

Comparing the early drugs to todays relatively easy ones gets tiresome.  And the analogy about injecting insulin is perfectly valid.  You were just making a point that others face more challenges with their meds than we do with ours.  I think that person is just a little too sensitive.

I guess I'll never understand what it feels like to have to finally start taking drugs to combat this illness as I was so grateful that any drug became available, even if they sucked.

Wolfie
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline gaynpositive

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2012, 02:05:25 AM »
hey leatherman,

i agree with Wolfter, that you are just providing an analogy to help newbies like me gain some perspective on the whole med thing! seriously, i cant even EVER imagine ...EVER..about taking 20 pills a day and constantly puking the whole day with that regimen..and yes, thank you so much, coz that also gives me a perspective ..that hell what!! taking just one atripla a day cant be that bad, can it?..sure, i can avoid fatty foods in the night, no big deal !

That being said, i want to again thank you for your posts to this query of mine, and i sincerely hope that you can help this new friend of yours too who takes insulin injections :)

GnP

Offline gaynpositive

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2012, 02:14:19 AM »
(I have 2 life mottos, and one is "Any day I'm not in the hospital, even if it's a day I'm hanging over the toilet puking, is a GREAT day!" :D )


btw, i would want to know whats the other motto! :D

Online leatherman

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2012, 05:37:22 AM »
"anything  - except for death - can be fixed, or at least made better; but it takes hard work and patience."
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline gaynpositive

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  • Posts: 25
Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 11:46:55 AM »
hi leatherman,

i am motivated by both of your mottos..and will keep them in mind :) ..

i have two more questions regarding starting my generic of Atripla..you informed me that alcohol is okay..now if i take this medication on an empty stomach at bedtime..say 11.30pm..does that mean I "ABSOLUTELY NEED" to sleep down after that..can't i be awake till whatever time in the night and early morning..say, when one is out for a movie or dinner and then sitting with friends which would mean having some alcohol too? ..which leads me to my second question:

Am I supposed to not eat/drink anything after my medication at 11.30pm till the morning?

thanks as always for your great support!
GnP

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 03:58:05 PM »
3.  Can i take any other doctor-prescribed drugs for any other ailments when on  ART? i cannot tell my regular physicians (for general care, eye care, skin care, etc) that i have hiv and am on ART. So if i go to them for any regular medical care, n they prescribe whatever drugs/eye drops/topical creams/steroidal preparations ...can i take them without worrying about their reaction with ART, etc?

Hey Gay - Welcome.

If I were in your situation, regarding #3. , I would confer with a pharmacist (not yours!go to another store/outlet) and say...." My brother is HIV positive and on (Insert generic ATRIPLA or whatever) and I need to know if there are contraindications if he takes X, X, and X while on that regimen.  He's too scared to ask his pharmacist." And take a pen/paper and take notes like a dutiful brother would.

Pharmacists are usually pretty cool and realize they're in the position of helping people keep their privacy, take good care of themselves and others.  I've never found a pharmacist who wasn't helpful. I don't know if pharmacists are different in India.

Em

Offline gaynpositive

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  • Posts: 25
Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 09:45:05 AM »
hey Emeraldize,

thanks for writing! Regarding #3, your suggestions are very appropriate and useful. But Indian Pharmacists are not like the US pharmacists. They are more like businessmen with half-baked knowledge about chronic diseases like cancer and HIV, etc. and we cannot blame them either, coz they are busy selling regular meds here and everyone is supposed to get medicines for chronic diseases through their doctors :) ..moreover, the stigma people have here about HIV is huge..so even if you go to a different pharmacist (not your own), he would first give you a shocking look ..and then a pity look..and then would simply turn you away coz he would not be selling HIV meds :)

For us here in India, the best information about drugs and side effects and anything  else is Internet and forums like these..btw, a friend has just told me about this wonderful wonderful website to check for drug interactions, let me share it here with everyone:

http://www.hiv-druginteractions.org/interactions.aspx

an awesome, awesome site for anyone who wants to check out the interactions of various drugs with HIV medicines.

Thanks so much for writing! It always feels good to hear from fellow forum members, knowing that you have friends all over the world who are ready to help you :)

take care and have a Happy Diwali ! (the big festival of lights we are celebrating here in India today and tomorrow)  :)

GnP

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Questions regarding ART. About to start soon.
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 10:15:39 AM »
HappyDiwali to you, too!

Sorry to learn about the great differences between your pharmacists and ours. '

I shall give mine a big hug and a box of cookies next time I see her!!!

 


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