Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

HIV + Bipolar -- What meds are best?

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Hello Everyone,

I was diagnosed in July of last year (reading these posts has been an incredible comfort & strength!) and I need to start meds soon. I've been dealing with bipolar disorder all my life, mostly unmedicated.  I began to address the bipolar stuff seriously about a year ago and I still do not have things manageable, now I get to add HIV meds into the mix. O joy. 

The Quad and Complera both can cause depression and I have been warned away from taking either of them.  Can anyone point me to information on what HIV med is best for people dealing with serious depression?  And also -- what anti-depression drugs work best with HIV drugs? 

Seeing this issue discussed in the Death thread scares the heck out of me and I really want to find solutions soon.  Thank you!! 


   Hi    Seattlem4m  ,

              Well now ..........    :-\

    I am on  Truvada / Norvir / presizta for   HIV / AIDS  , I'v been on meds for 8 years now .

   As for my Bi-polar situation ............
     I now take   Citalapram - Antideprsant ,  Clonazapram - tanqualizer , And  Trazadone  to sleep !

  I feel better now than I did when I was 30  :)

  Best of luck with your MEDS .   Life is good , at this point I have no major issues
to complain about .

                                               Be well ,  Weasel 

Seattle I have never heard of Complera or Stribild causing depression.  Atripla can tip the depression issue.  I actually take Stribild (the "quad") and have experienced zero depression issues.  On the other hand, I cannot take Atripla (due to the Sustiva component) because of my underlying depression.

Do you trust your doctors?  It seems you're coming to us for advice you should be asking your doctor about.  There are many different meds used for bipolar disorder, and different combinations, that only your doctor can recommend and prescribe.  Sometimes it's frustrating in that a person has to be willing to go through different trials of meds to see what works.  But oh the relief when the right meds are found!

I would recommend having a serious talk with your doctors, both ID and psychiatrist, and be an active partner in your mental as well as physical healthcare.  Good luck!



--- Quote from: BT65 on January 08, 2013, 05:04:21 AM ---
I would recommend having a serious talk with your doctors, both ID and psychiatrist, and be an active partner in your mental as well as physical healthcare.  Good luck!

--- End quote ---

In addition to Betty's sage advice, you should get your ID and psych docs to communicate with each other about your case in general and your meds specifically. Sometimes you have to give permission for your various doctors to share information (I know that's true where I live) so discuss it with both of them.

Thank you everyone for the helpful replies.   Yes, of course, I am working closely with the doctors as best I can.  This is all new. Here is my situation:

As a self-employed artist, I have never had a “regular” doctor.  With HIV, I learned that I am officially “poor” and eligible for Ryan White funded care as well as our state health insurance plan.  The clinic I go to is amazing - very good communication between doctor-social worker-pharmacist-nutritionist-etc. and I assume psychiatrist.

I am still building trust with my newly assigned doctor; he is in the process of finalizing his degree; he is not comfortable with making any mental health decisions.  The clinic psychiatrist is not covered under the Ryan White Act but I have finally saved up for the cost for one session which is scheduled for late next month.

I also ponied up the cash to talk with a well-respected local HIV/AIDS expert physician about meds with bipolar issues.  Together we picked out Complera.  So I was crestfallen when the clinic pharmacist said he would never recommend Complera for anyone with bipolar issues.   (The 7-page “FDA-Approved Patient Labeling” for Complera does have one line stating to tell your provider if you “have ever had a mental health problem.”)

The doctor & I have decided to try the Quad, but only after I’ve seen the psychiatrist.

I realize I am on “the journey” and that it may take many months to work all this out.  It’s a lonely & scary path for me, so I am trying to get as much info from the greater community on their experience with this issue.  Info on what combinations of specific drugs are working for other people dealing with HIV & bipolar issues would be most helpful for me.

Thanks again!!


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