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Author Topic: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds  (Read 250 times)

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Offline nxt1001

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Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« on: February 06, 2016, 11:10:23 PM »
I'm about to start taking HIV meds for the first time. The doctor and prescribing information stated that I should take it at the same time every day to avoid resistance. I can't decide on a time. I do take other meds (antidepressants and sleeping pills), but if I take them at a different time each day it doesn't matter. I've tried weighing the pros and cons of my options.

If I take it when I wake up, then I will have to wake up at 7am everyday even on weekends. I'm not a morning person and value the extra hours to sleep on the weekends. I like to sleep until at least 10 or 11 on the weekend.

If I take it before bed, then I would not ever be able to go to bed earlier than 11 or 12. I would also have to bring it with me if I ever go out late on a Friday or Saturday.

If I take it after work, like at 6 or 7, then I would have to always be home at 6 or 7. Sometimes I work late, and sometimes I'm just not home at 6 or 7. For example tomorrow I'll be at a Superbowl party at that time. So I would have to carry it with me.

My other option which I'm not very fond of is taking it with me to work and having it at lunch, since I'm always awake around noon and can usually expect to be in a specific place. Either work or home at that time. But I don't really want to take my medicine at work. I'd prefer to keep it all private and not have to let others see me taking medication.

Basically my dilemma is that scheduling my life around my HIV meds is not easy. If I know I'm going to be out, where do I put my pills? In my pocket? In my car? What if I ride in someone else's car? Should I start carrying a man purse? Should I just deal with it and always be awake and home at 7am, or 6pm or 11pm? I thought this wasn't supposed to change my life very much, but this is a pretty big change, since I'm a very spontaneous person and can't really predict where I'll be at any specific time most days.

Offline harleymc

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Re: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 12:02:23 AM »
My evening routines area bit chaotic, 2 nights per week I go direct from work to college, one night a week in summer I play softball after work, then there's the weekends and having a social life.

I like having mine with breakfast (I'm on a combo that needs to be taken with a meal). On the weekends that might be about two hours later than week days. 

Daily medications have a bit of 'half-life' in them that means you wouldn't be considered to have missed a dose until 12 hours after your dosing time. We can contrast this with the original AZT dosing which was every four hours, two hours late would have been a missed dose.

I keep a spare dose at work. If I miss my breakfast dose by some chance, I can take them with lunch. Having that spare dose at work also means I'm set to go if the boyfriend phones to say, come over for the night. I grab them, grab my hat and coat and I'm out the door with a smile on my face.

Offline JimDublin

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Re: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 07:04:59 AM »
Basically my dilemma is that scheduling my life around my HIV meds is not easy. If I know I'm going to be out, where do I put my pills? In my pocket? In my car? What if I ride in someone else's car? Should I start carrying a man purse? Should I just deal with it and always be awake and home at 7am, or 6pm or 11pm? I thought this wasn't supposed to change my life very much, but this is a pretty big change, since I'm a very spontaneous person and can't really predict where I'll be at any specific time most days.


Hi

So I'm on Triumeq myself and take it in the evening time after dinner, I did over a period time move my times once or twice to better suit but that's a different story.

I take my meds within a 2 hours window each day, with the goal of course of taking my meds at the same time each day but what with life and kids i can be a few hours off at times.

Generally speaking for best effect, the meds need to be taken as instructed and ideally at the same time. (Within a fews hours range). This allows the drugs to remain at the correct levels in your system. It's best if you don't miss any doses and of course the goal should be 100% adherence.

What really helped me with regards to being out and about and taking my meds in the evening is I have a Pill Holder Key Chain. It's small and as I always have my keys with me and so it means I always have meds with me. I got one a water tight one from the pharmacist and this means if i am unexpectedly out and about for whatever reason it's not an issue. (I do refresh the key pill holder stock every 30 days).

Jim.


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Offline leatherman

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Re: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 08:53:21 AM »
I have a Pill Holder Key Chain.
a pill fob - available at walmart and nearly any pharmacy.
make sure to take these pills once a month and restock from your new bottle of meds.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

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Offline nxt1001

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Re: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 12:00:51 PM »
Thanks guys. I'll definitely look into getting a pill fob. I didn't know those were a thing. But I do always have my keys with me. It's good to know that it doesn't have to be the same exact time every day. The medication information stresses that point, so I thought it had to be on the dot. If I wait a couple hours it's good to know it's not a big deal.

Offline Mightysure

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  • Posts: 171
Re: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 02:41:19 PM »
Thanks guys. I'll definitely look into getting a pill fob. I didn't know those were a thing. But I do always have my keys with me. It's good to know that it doesn't have to be the same exact time every day. The medication information stresses that point, so I thought it had to be on the dot. If I wait a couple hours it's good to know it's not a big deal.
Yes.  There's still this lingering mentality from the first wave of HIV meds where the times had to be quite precise.  My doctor said that it was so stringent that people had to set alarms and wake up at 2, 3,  and 4 am to take their meds.  With so much progress,  there's not only options for one pill a day,  but the time doesn't have to be exact every single day.  The half-lives of these drugs are longer so that gives you some leeway.  I'd stick with the two hour window.
Also,  I'd yours has a dietary requirement (either with food or without) keep that in mind as well. And any side effects.

Offline caveyuk

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Re: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 05:57:12 PM »
As for pill-fobs, I have two - one on my keychain and one in the glove compartment of my car. Thats two full days of treatments as back-up if I forget the pills from my regular pill organiser (kept in a kitchen cupboard). I kinda wish I knew about the keychain pill-fobs before myself, as I would have used them for years to carry painkillers/immodiums in as an emergency :)

Time-wise, I'm on Tivicay/Truvada once-per-day. I can take with or without food, so no requirements in that sense.

I had the exact same conundrum over timings....I am up fairly early for work, but like to sleep in on weekends; Taking 'before bed' could mean any time and I'm a bit of a night owl - especially on weekends - so linking it to bedtime could cause me to miss doses; I get home from work at a variety of times and I simply don't like the idea of taking at work, and often get pulled into meetings where time gets away from me.

What I arrived at was to take at 10pm each day. It's one time where I am guaranteed to be up and awake every day. I have a reminder text sent at 9.30 from the Terrence Higgins 'MyHIV' website (it's a UK thang), and have set my phone alarm for 10.15 as a reminder just in case. Most days I take at around 10.20pm but on one occasion didn't take til 10.45. My HIV nurse said that an hour or so each way won't be a problem.


Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 153
Re: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 08:33:28 PM »
Hi,
I too try to stick to an EXACT schedule and since i travel to different time zones, it can be a burden. However, my doc recently told me that there is leeway. As he put it, "we are human, not robots".....
So, i guess we should strive for the exact same time, but if you are an hour or 2 late, it is no biggie.
I take my pills 10Pm. It is before i get to sleep (in Asia), and if i am in a different time zone it still works (Europe is 6pm, East coast USA is 10am).
I have recently switched to Atripla and noticed that i am a bit groggy a few hours after taking it. This is no problem when in my home time-zone, but will be a problem when travelling. My doc`s advice was to move to the new time-zone if i will be there for more than a few days. As he put it, it is better than being a zombie for most of the day. I guess his practical approach comes from his vast experience.
Regarding taking pills while out, i used to do it all the time on my old regiment as there was no groggy side affect. I would just walk to the bathroom and take my pills.
Now i wait and if i am an hour or 2 late, so i am late!
I use the Medisafe app on my iPhone as well as google calendar reminders - they help!
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 08:35:52 PM by terrymoore »

Offline PittGurl

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  • Posts: 206
Re: Need advice on what time to take hiv meds
« Reply #8 on: Today at 12:23:34 AM »
i use an app on my phone Medisafe to remind me and then a regular phone alarm as a back up 10 minutes later.  I take my Triumeq at 9am everyday. I dont have to take it with a meal so on the weekends when i want to sleep in - i groggily shuffle to the kitchen grab water and the pill and go back to bed. lol

I also use that keyfob and carry it in my wristlet inside of my purse. And I too, switch out those medications every month and refresh them. I prefer not to take my meds at night in case i want to have a glass of wine or a beer - i have a mental block about taking my meds too close to any alcohol LOL.

When i was waitressing I just packed my fob in my apron, twisted it open at the time i needed to take the meds, grabbed some water and down it went. No one asked anything....I think medications are so liberally given out these days its almost not normal to be on nothing! :)
Infected between 5/16/15 - 7/19/15
8-2-15 WB Positive Test Confirmed:  CD4=286 VL=43800
9-3-15 Was supposed to start Triumeq ....got scared :(
9-4-15 Started Triumeq thanks to the people on this board encouraging me :)
9-21-15 labs after 16 days on Triumeq CD4=570; VL 26!!!  HOLY COW it's working!
10-27-15 labs after 7 weeks, 4 days on Triumeq CD4=522; VL=UNDETECTABLE!!!
12-29-15 Started 50 mgs Zoloft for anxiety & panic attacks
1-17-16 decreased Zoloft to 25 mgs - had insomnia, tremor, skin burning sensations
1-28-16 Labs CD4=479; VL=Still undetectable!

 


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