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Author Topic: new labs, statin info  (Read 819 times)

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Offline mikeyb39

  • Member
  • Posts: 922
new labs, statin info
« on: September 11, 2013, 07:07:15 PM »
Hi All,
I have couple of questions, one of them may not be suitable for this forum topic.

I received my labs back today from my doctor and all was good except my cholesterol.  My CD4's are 785 and UD, but my cholesterol is high and was being monitored for about a year.  I eat fairly well and exercise, but cholesterol keeps going the wrong way.

My doctor is going to start me on a low dose Lipitor 10/mg once a day.  Can someone advise if there are any weird side effects to statins?  my doctor says that it can cause muscle pain in some folks, but since a small dose probably wont notice anything.  I already have that so not sure if I will notice a difference.

Also I'm going to ask an insurance question in here, I hope I don't get punished too badly.  I am starting a new job in a few weeks and my insurance will change from united healthcare to blue cross/blue shield PPO. The insurance is fully paid so nothing will come out of my check for the insurance.  My worry is that the company  is a smaller/mid-size company versus the large company I'm at now.  They advise the insurance is great, but I know HIV meds are a different story all around.  Anyone  have any thoughts on this?  I don't want to ask  my employer whether the insurance will cover HIV meds.

I will be doing all the paper work next week, but was wanting to get any thoughts from you fine folks.

Mike
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD

Offline drewm

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,044
  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: new labs, statin info
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 07:32:36 PM »
Hi Mike...

My cholesterol is the only issue we are dealing with also. Hopefully someone can answer your insurance questions. It's comfortable, in a way, to be only dealing with cholesterol as opposed to some of the other lovelies that can accompany this virus.  ;)
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline moxieinme

  • Member
  • Posts: 90
Re: new labs, statin info
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 08:06:19 PM »
Hi Mike,

High cholesterol and triglycerides were a side effect I had to deal with for many years, starting in my 30s. I have been o n lipitor (or generic) and tricor for many years. I have never noticed any side effects attributable to them. I have heard stories about muscle aches etc. but not here. I have a pretty regular and active exercise routine. FYI, I also started using high dose fish oil (2 1K capsules daily) and that has really had an impact on my lipid labs. I keep close track and can verify.

As for insurance, I wouldn't worry about HIV meds begin covered unless you are on something really experimental i.e. not approved yet. My various meds were covered by all my insurances since the early 90s, small and big companies. You can usually look up an insurance company's drug formulary online to see if they include it, but I'd be shocked if there was an issue.

Good luck!
Salvage therapy wrangler, riding the poz bronco and dodging bullets for over 24 years.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CD4 at diagnosis 1989 = 330
Began treatment (AZT) 1989
Lowest labs 1998: CD4=74, 7%, VL=750,000
First sustained undetectable VL in 20 years (2009); CD4=315
Current labs (12/13): CD4=637, 27%, VL=<20
Current meds: Prezista, Isentress, Intellence, Norvir

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,109
Re: new labs, statin info
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 09:18:50 PM »

As for insurance, I wouldn't worry about HIV meds begin covered unless you are on something really experimental i.e. not approved yet. My various meds were covered by all my insurances since the early 90s, small and big companies. You can usually look up an insurance company's drug formulary online to see if they include it, but I'd be shocked if there was an issue.

Good luck!

Hi Moxie, I was just reading your sig line....Am I understanding that you had a detectable Viral load for 20 years? and was 750k a typical reading during that time? Incredible, my hat is off to you Long-termers.

Sorry for the hijack Mikey

-WIll
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline buginme2

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,834
Re: new labs, statin info
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 10:10:02 PM »
Regarding the insurance, as soon as you switch companies call the old insurance company and be sure to have them send you a certificate of coverage showing that you have had health insurance for the past twelve months.  Once you get it contact the new insurance company and give them the letter.  Without it, your HIV is a pre existing condition and nothing is covered ( until Obamacare take effect).  Unless your employer negotiated this already.

You can also ask your employer if they have the group number of the new plan and call the new insurance company, give them the group number and review your new coverage. 

Good luck with the statin
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 10:12:41 PM by buginme2 »

Offline moxieinme

  • Member
  • Posts: 90
Re: new labs, statin info
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2013, 04:27:59 PM »
Hi Moxie, I was just reading your sig line....Am I understanding that you had a detectable Viral load for 20 years? and was 750k a typical reading during that time? Incredible, my hat is off to you Long-termers.
Thanks Will, but hats should go off to the wonderful network of healthcare providers and clinical trials that got me where I am today.

The first VL reading I can find in my lab records was a pre-trial screening in late 1998 at 156K. At trial entrance a few months later it was 750K. This is almost 10 years after dx and nine years on meds. Without detailed documentation I can only assume my virus was not contained because of the limited power of early therapies and the number of times I had to change regimens due to other labs like CD4s. I had two recorded readings of undetectable VL between 1998 and 2008, once in 2000 and once in 2001, likely coinciding with a change in drug regimen. On current regimen since 2008 and except for a few initial bumps, have consistent undetectable VL. Through it all I've maintained reasonable health and avoided significant crises. Yay team!

But thank you again for your kind words and thoughts.

On the original topic, very good point about certificates of coverage and watching out for pre-existing condition gaps. This was always part of the complex footwork when I changed jobs and insurance. But again, drugs have always been covered with all my insurances.
Salvage therapy wrangler, riding the poz bronco and dodging bullets for over 24 years.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CD4 at diagnosis 1989 = 330
Began treatment (AZT) 1989
Lowest labs 1998: CD4=74, 7%, VL=750,000
First sustained undetectable VL in 20 years (2009); CD4=315
Current labs (12/13): CD4=637, 27%, VL=<20
Current meds: Prezista, Isentress, Intellence, Norvir

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,398
Re: new labs, statin info
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2013, 04:44:17 PM »
Can't comment on the insurance issue, but good luck.  Lipitor, like any drug will be different for each of us.  I know many who benefit from it where as It messed my digestive system up pretty fiercely.  If your lipids require medication, don't hesitate to try alternatives if one doesn't work well.

I have been on Pravastatin for a while now and have awesome numbers now.  No issue with this statin at all.

Wolfie
productivity breeds content

Offline eric48

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,119
  • @HIVPharmaCure & tinyurl.com/HIVPharmaCure
Re: new labs, statin info
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2013, 06:02:41 PM »
I am on Rovustatin (Crestor) 5 mg: it does the job LDL is at 80 mg/L

I  had some type of muscle pain at some point, I did not know if this was due to the statin or any or the other stuff. I went off for 2 weeks then back. no problemo

Eric

Offline mitch777

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,384
  • wish i were here
Re: new labs, statin info
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2013, 06:23:40 PM »
While statins are well tolerated by most they have the potential to do damage to muscles. I was on 40 mg of Lipitor for many years and chalked off the muscle aches as tolerable and "no big deal". Well, for me, it ended up being a big deal. The warnings from the manufacturer are real.
I'm just saying to keep an eye out for any symptoms and don't take it lightly. I regret that I did. Not sure if I will ever get my muscles back where they were.

You mentioned that you already have muscle pain. That is what concerns me. Do you know what has been causing this?

m.
31 years hiv+ (oct. 2013) with a curtsy.

 


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