Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Questions About Treatment & Side Effects

Atripla - Concentration issues and brain fog

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Delby:
Hi All,

I've now been on Atripla for some time and i'm coming up to the end of my 6th year on it. I take it at 7am the morning and i find the first few hrs (probably till midday) hard as the effects can include dizziness, hot flushes, inability to concentrate and difficulty communicating as well. Some days are much worse than others, but i just battle through it and carry on working. It doesn't stop me from going to work etc.

However, recently i have had music in my head 24/7. Even when i wake at night to go to the toilet it's there. First thing in the morning - it's there. Everyone gets jingles and music stuck in the head one time or another, but i've had this non stop for 5 months since October. It can be terribly annoying and difficult to live with. It prevents me from being able to read properly as it's there all the time. I have to sometimes read the same paragraph over and over and sometimes just give up. It's a noise 24/7 in my head.

I was thinking of asking my ID to refer me to a neurologist for a check to see if there are any signs of cognitive dysfunction. What do you think? Does anyone suffer from any of the above?

Delby  :-\

Ann:
Delby, why do you take it in the morning when the recommendation is that Atripla should be taken before bed so you can sleep through the worst of the side-effects, such as the dizziness you experience? While some people can tolerate taking it in the morning and have no side-effects, they are few and far between.

Also, are you aware that eating two hours either side of taking it can increase the side effects? If you're eating breakfast before or within two hours or so of taking it, that may be the problem.

If for some reason taking it at night is even worse for you side-effect wise, then there's no reason why you can't ask your doctor to switch your combo. There are plenty of other combos out there that won't mess with your head the way the Sustiva in Atripla can.

If I were you, I'd switch my combo before worrying about neurologists and cognitive problems. It's more likely than not the Sustiva messing with you. Not everyone can tolerate the psych side-effects of Sustiva and there's no shame in admitting you may be one of them. There are too many other combos out there for you to suffer with Sustiva.

Delby:

--- Quote from: Ann on February 04, 2013, 07:57:09 AM ---Delby, why do you take it in the morning when the recommendation is that Atripla should be taken before bed so you can sleep through the worst of the side-effects, such as the dizziness you experience? While some people can tolerate taking it in the morning and have no side-effects, they are few and far between.

Also, are you aware that eating two hours either side of taking it can increase the side effects? If you're eating breakfast before or within two hours or so of taking it, that may be the problem.

If for some reason taking it at night is even worse for you side-effect wise, then there's no reason why you can't ask your doctor to switch your combo. There are plenty of other combos out there that won't mess with your head the way the Sustiva in Atripla can.

If I were you, I'd switch my combo before worrying about neurologists and cognitive problems. It's more likely than not the Sustiva messing with you. Not everyone can tolerate the psych side-effects of Sustiva and there's no shame in admitting you may be one of them. There are too many other combos out there for you to suffer with Sustiva.

--- End quote ---

Hi Ann,

I take it in the morning because I suffer from severe Insomnia. I'm talking 3-5hrs a night EVERY night. Most days i'm whacked and extremely fatigued. Taking it in the morning doesn't help my insomnia, but when i used to take it at night, my sleep was even worse. I'm not sure whether i have residual anxiety or in fact the Atripla is affecting my sleep quality, even by taking it in the morning.

I also don't anything until 2 hrs after. But i still get the sides. As i say some days are worse than others. But they are difficult to deal with especially as i work full time. It can be difficult in public as well, as your head is all over the place.

The reason i've not switched is because i didn't want to rock the boat. Plus the other option given to me, complera, needs to be taken with a 500 calorie + meal each morning. I don't want to have to calculate how many calories i'm eating every single time i take it. Also, what happens when i'm sick with a vomiting bug for example. The last thing you'd want to do is have a huge meal. So how would it work in those cases? So that's why i've never made the move over....

Ann:
Delby, you have every right to ask for a combo switch that doesn't include Complera. For example, I'm also in the UK. I requested, and was given, Prezista, Norvir and Truvada as my combo. It's easy to take, once a day, four pills in one gulp.

The only caveat is that Prezista needs stomach acids in order to be fully absorbed, but unlike Complera, that can be just a light snack like a piece of toast, a banana or whatever floats your boat. I take mine in the afternoon when I have a bite to eat - and sometimes that's only just a light snack.

I've gone from CD4s in the 300/400s, VL in the 30,000s, to CD4s of 1050, VL UD in six months. It's good stuff and virtually side-effect free. It's one of the most easily tolerated combos available today. Some people won't consider it because it's more than one pill (big deal, I say), but it's still only once a day. I really don't get all the excitement of having to take only one pill - it takes the same amount of time to stop and swallow whether it's one pill or three or four.

And speaking of boats, look at it this way. Atripla is already rocking YOUR boat, and you don't have to stand for it. By all means rock your doctor's boat and get him or her to switch you to something that allows you a better quality of life.

Delby:

--- Quote from: Ann on February 04, 2013, 10:51:18 AM ---Delby, you have every right to ask for a combo switch that doesn't include Complera. For example, I'm also in the UK. I requested, and was given, Prezista, Norvir and Truvada as my combo. It's easy to take, once a day, four pills in one gulp.

The only caveat is that Prezista needs stomach acids in order to be fully absorbed, but unlike Complera, that can be just a light snack like a piece of toast, a banana or whatever floats your boat. I take mine in the afternoon when I have a bite to eat - and sometimes that's only just a light snack.

I've gone from CD4s in the 300/400s, VL in the 30,000s, to CD4s of 1050, VL UD in six months. It's good stuff and virtually side-effect free. It's one of the most easily tolerated combos available today. Some people won't consider it because it's more than one pill (big deal, I say), but it's still only once a day. I really don't get all the excitement of having to take only one pill - it takes the same amount of time to stop and swallow whether it's one pill or three or four.

And speaking of boats, look at it this way. Atripla is already rocking YOUR boat, and you don't have to stand for it. By all means rock your doctor's boat and get him or her to switch you to something that allows you a better quality of life.

--- End quote ---

Thanks Ann. I'm due to meet him in a few months so i'll have the discussion with him. I think it may be time for a change as this music in my head is driving me literally mad! Not to mention the sides i experience most days until midday. I feel like my brain has been turned to mush!! Thanks for reaching out. 

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