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

The Sustiva/Atripla Thread

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Jeff G:
I began Sustiva when it first became availaible in 95-96 . Then on to Atripla when Medicare approved it .

One of my fears about Atripla is that some of the cognitive changes people have can be subtle and happen so slowly that you are not aware that its happening . I do feel that's the way it happened with me . My feelings on this subject is one that still evolving and that's why I think we really need this thread about this drug . Sustiva saved my life and I would have taken it anyway had I known what I do now .

Been on Atripla since December 2010.

My doctor and I recently decided it was time to switch to something else.  I have been prescribed Complera however, I haven't started it yet because I have several months of Atripla reserve built up and will finish them before I switch (since the change wasn't due to an emergency or urgent situation I'm not going to just toss them). 

I've only been on it for two years and really have no major complaints.  It is after all a life saver.  However, the dreams/sleep disturbances have become significant and I am looking forward to a good nights sleep without having to take something to do it.

I have also noticed slight cognitive issues.  I've started completely forgetting names and my thought process is a little slower.  It's not significant however, I feel like sometimes I get tripped up when I shouldn't and that scares me for my work.  I need/want to work and further my career and don't want this medication to stand in my way.

I am also hoping that a change will improve my lipids and blood sugar (they are both just a couple points too high). We'll see.

Other than that its been mostly a positive experience.  I haven't experienced any depression or mood changes that some people experience.

I'm hoping that the transition is a smooth one. 

Atripla is a great drug but I have noticed less and less people posting that they are starting on it anymore.  It seems Stribild is the new first timer front runner (my doc is also a little hesitant about Stribild right now until more data comes out about the kidney issues, hence the Complera choice). 


--- Quote from: Grants Committee on March 20, 2013, 05:22:43 PM ---Just saw my ID doc today... I am going to stay on the Atripla for the time being, but she says there is a new once a day dosage of Isentress?? (I think it may be that) that should be out late this summer and that she and I may want to consider switching me to this....

She just came back from CROI and said that there is still mixed information on Atripla - some studies are showing the cognitive issues, while other studies have shown that people on Atripla have better cognitive functioning than those people on some other regimens....

She said there is a component in stribold (??) that they still don't know enough about and that is why she is a bit reserved in prescribing it.

My experience w/ Atripla has been uneventful to date - but, my doc and I did talk about the fact that I may not necessarily be aware of some of its negative impacts until I switch and see the difference that another med may or may not deliver.

I should have a better idea of whether I will be switching or not come July 3rd or sometime in October.

Til then.... Atripla it remains.

--- End quote ---

Well, I guess the fact that I unknowingly posted the above while signed in under "Grants Committee" may say a lot about possible cognitive issues and Atripla....  Oopsy!

I have posted on the boards before about my drug regimen that includes Sustiva.  I have been on Sustiva since the late 1990's at a reduced dosage--400mg.

I have always had vivid pleasant dreams since I was a child.  I continue the dreams as an adult.  If anything, I have noticed the dreams are in higher cinematic presentations with great sound.  No nightmares. I now get about 6-7 hours sleep each night instead of my previous 8-9.  It may have something to do with age as I turn 60 later this year.

I have not noticed a cognitive decline.  In fact I completed my undergraduate degree (cum laude) in 2000 and graduate degree in 2010 while working full time. If anything, I tend to remember too much--some things I wish to forget. I even gained a reputation as the "go to" person at work when staff got stuck and didn't want to just look up the info.  ;)

Now, the one thing that I have noticed over the last few years is a slight melancholy mood at infrequent turns.  No one has mentioned it to me but I have noticed it.  It is not debilitating. I once posted that my low dose Sustiva may be finally catching up with me.  However, since the mood changes are a bit removed from my usual nature, I take note. I also discussed it with my doctor. 

Coincidentally, I have also had a few life changing events with my mother passing fairly recently, my late twin sister's daughter now grown up to look soo much like her and reminding me how much I miss my sister. A few other close friends and family members have also died recently.  These may or may not be contributing factors to the mood slumps at times.

I am now concentrating on landing another permanent full time position and will revisit my drug regimen discussion with my doctor at another time.

Overall, my reduced dose regimen is working well for me and my lab numbers are amazing especially considering where I started 28 years ago (CD4 around 75, diagnosed with AIDS Related Complex, and given less than 2 years to live).

Jeff G:

--- Quote from: phildinftlaudy on March 20, 2013, 08:10:33 PM ---Well, I guess the fact that I unknowingly posted the above while signed in under "Grants Committee" may say a lot about possible cognitive issues and Atripla....  Oopsy!

--- End quote ---

LOL ... the Grants Committee is always welcome in any of my threads  ;) .


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