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

The Sustiva/Atripla Thread

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Thanks to all that have previously shared.  So many of them I can identify with.

Began Atripla 2006 and switched to Complera in 2012.  More than 6 years.  Viral load suppression/CD4/% stats all improved and remained very good.

About 2 years into treatment, noticed some very subtle changes.  The usual memory challenges.  Driving in unfamiliar territory without a GPS could cause real terror.  Would start a conversation and have trouble directing the flow/emphasis as originally intended.  Mental awareness (or as I say at times the loopiness) was notable.

Sleeping difficulties were worse.  Twas a rare night to fall quickly to sleep and remain fitfully asleep.  On several occasions I awoke to a strange involuntary jaw-clenching episode (neuropathy?).

Sept 2012 made the switch to Complera.  Mental alertness and loopiness (not to be confused with loonyness----not quite there yet) about 50% better.  Sleep issues about 30% better.  Gaseous problems associated with Complera mostly subsided.  Still considering Stribild or Dolutegravir combo later this year, not making any quick decisions.

Try to assess my health on three counts.  Mental alertness, ability to sleep well and lab results.  If any have declined, the red flag goes up.  And it is re-affirming just getting it on a post or paper.

Watch out for those ex-Sustiva users zipping along without GPS!

Lets just say that the knives in the draw started to look extremely attractive to me....!

I'm a bit hesitant about contributing to a thread which seems to have run its course, but what I experienced may be useful to those who are finding Atripla difficult (obviously many if not most of you tolerate it well).

While it did the job - I became undetectable within a couple of weeks, and remained so - I found the psychological side effects increasingly hard to bear. I was having nightmares, mood swings and anger, cognitive difficulties and suicidal tendencies. For most of the time I was living with an indefinable sense of dread which I couldn't shake off. However, there were no physical issues, and it had the benefit of being a med. that could be taken without food, so the thought of changing my regime was not without its own concerns. But people who are close to me advised me that I should talk it through with my clinic, which I did. Their response was to put me on Eviplera (Complera).

That was a month ago; since then things have changed dramatically: I'm sleeping peacefully, I have had no nightmares, no anger issues or feelings of wanting to commit suicide. I'm still undetectable; my CD4 count is 845 and 50%, which my doctor thinks are "solid" results. Some time ago I actively sought to end my life; I now wonder how much of that was down to the medication. But be that as it may, the change of medication appears to be going well for me, and I have no wish to go back on Atripla.

Jeff G:
Hi Mark ,and thanks for sharing your story with us . I'm hoping this thread continues for as long as people are taking Atripla , your experience are needed and welcome .

I can realate to every single word you wrote and just this morning I told a friend that this is the first time in 15 years that I feel clear in my thinking and alive again , I also feel for the first time in a very long while that I'm healthy and happy .

I had some running around to do today and I wasn't tired or anxious or feeling fearful . I feel good .

I think that Nobody with even the slighest psychological problems and disorders should take Atripla/Sustiva. There are better drugs meanwhile.


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