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Author Topic: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?  (Read 1818 times)

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Offline Naxos

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Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« on: January 26, 2014, 06:38:27 PM »
Hi forum friends,

I am starting Complera on 2/3 and am just curious about people's first few days on it (or any other similar treatment) and any preparation or advice going into it. 

I've been a bit nervous, and I've blocked off the morning from my first day, just in case.  I'm newly diagnosed with good numbers, but just curious if anyone has any info to share.

I'm planning to take it in the morning (7:30am) since that will likely be the most consistent time for me to take it and eat the appropriate meal.  I'm trying not to give my anxiety or fears any power, but I'm still a bit worried.

Any advice? Thoughts? Recommendations?

Thanks.

Naxos
Be still, wild and young

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 06:41:05 PM »
Its a very well tolerated combo and you should expect minimal side effects if any for a week or two . Expect the best and sometimes that's what you will get LOL . 

Best of luck !

Offline Jmarksto

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 07:55:04 PM »
Hey Naxos; 

I am on Complera and had no side effects to speak of starting out.  I started on a Friday at lunch and had the weekend clear just in case - but really didn't need to as it turned out.  One thing about Complera that I have noticed is that the fewer the calories I take it with the more likely I'll have gastro issues (gas mostly).

I was nervous too - and all for naught.

Best,
JM
03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45%  VL 25
02/25/14 CD4   792/37%  VL UD
07/09/14 CD4 1004/39%   VL UD
11/03/14 CD4   711/34%   VL UD

Offline Since2005

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 07:59:31 PM »
Hi Naxos,

Welcome to the forums! So far I have heard it affects differently to different people. Some mentioned they had very little/ no issues after their initial intake. It totally depends I suppose. If you have to take it you take it so it saves your life. As Jmarksto said he had no issues. One thing (your doc may have told you about this) is to watch to take this med with foods. So, if you are taking it in the morning be sure to take it with your breakfast ( its 400/500 cal. requirements if I am not mistaken).

I hope it goes well for you. Can you let us know how this is working for you? This might help other new comers to get some input about your intake.

All in all, good luck to you!

Best Wishes,

Since
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 08:09:02 PM by Since2005 »

Offline Ann

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 06:15:41 AM »
Naxos, the best thing you can do is ... RELAX!!! As Jeff said, expect the best and that's what you'll most likely get. If you allow yourself to get all worked up with anxiety about it, chances are you're going to experience something like nausea - brought on by the stress, NOT the meds. So yeah, do yourself a favour and chill. ;)
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline le_liseur

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 12:19:11 PM »
Hi Naxos, welcome! :)

It'll all be fine, don't worry. You'll most likely have no side-effects at all.

I started Complera last July, and it has since worked super well. I take it with my first meal, usually between 9am and 11am. I happened to take it at different times because of schedule issues (earlier in the morning, or around noon or 1pm). So far, I've been undetectable since November or December.

The calories issue isn't really one, if it worries you. The nurse at the HIV clinic actually told me that tho it used to be a 400-500 calories regimen, it still works well with less, like 350 calories. The important part is that you get some solid food in there, with fat. Not just shakes hehe

Two slices of bread with peanut butter are already probably enough. If you like, just add a banana, yogurt, etc. And there will be no problem. I used to not have complete breakfast before, and since starting my treatment, I ended up eating much better. :)

Stay strong, it'ill go well! :)

Offline Naxos

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 12:40:40 PM »
Thanks everyone, for the advice and support.

It's Day 1 for me, and I was up early with my food and over-dramatic first dose.  I've worked hard over the last week to stay calm, focused and optimistic, and I felt balanced going into the morning.

So far so good as I write, about five hours in.  I took it with a decent-sized breakfast with carbs, fat and protein. I'm guessing my body may take a few days/week to adjust to the routine and the chemistry, so I'm staying focused on it while thinking positively and staying calm.  I'll circle back as the days progress.  Thanks again.

Naxos
Be still, wild and young

Offline le_liseur

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 02:30:55 PM »
Good! Just continue doing what you'd usually do, and it will go well. :)

I wonder if a lot of side-effects people encounter when taking their meds for the first time are not caused by the stress we put ourselves in more than the meds themselves. Or if it's not stress that causes a lot of the side-effects, could it be something that aggravates them?

I'm sure you'll go well with the meds and that soon, it will be part of your breakfast routine. Keep us posted. :)


Offline Naxos

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 03:17:55 PM »
The biggest change is going to be getting up at 6am and eating a balanced breakfast every day!
Be still, wild and young

Offline Since2005

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 04:28:36 AM »
Hi,

You know they say Breakfast is your the most important meal of the day! May be this is good for you that you have decided to go with breakfast than lunch:)

Please continue to let us know how this goes for you. Cheering for you!

Good luck!

Since

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 05:55:30 AM »

I wonder if a lot of side-effects people encounter when taking their meds for the first time are not caused by the stress we put ourselves in more than the meds themselves. Or if it's not stress that causes a lot of the side-effects, could it be something that aggravates them?


I think there is a lot of truth in your line of thinking. I've seen so many posting here over the years who were really nervous about starting, then come back and report initial side-effects that are commonly anxiety and stress induced, like nausea, diarrhea and headaches.

Yes, some meds can cause these on their own, but so can anxiety. Just yesterday I got some bad news about a friend and I immediately became nauseous and remained so for hours, and it was purely down to the stress and anxiety of worrying about my friend.

A doctor once told me that he hesitates to tell many of his patients about possible drug side effects, because every time he does, they experience those side effects. When he doesn't mention any side effects, these same people experience none. It's like the placebo effect in reverse.

The mind is a powerful thing - use it wisely and to your advantage.

In the case of starting meds, concentrate on the positive (erm, no pun intended) outcomes you WILL be enjoying (lowered VL, increased CD4s, not dying!), rather than the side effects you only might suffer.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Naxos

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2014, 09:22:39 AM »
A quick update:

I started Monday morning at 7:15am after a long night of writing and a morning of meditating.  I put a lot of time and energy into staying focused and calm.

My day was uneventful, and all days since I am happy to report I've had zero side effects! 

Don't get too worried over starting treatment.  Just make sure you are mentally and emotionally prepared. 

Now onto next labs next month.  Thanks for all the support!

Naxos
Be still, wild and young

Offline Jmarksto

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  • Posts: 533
Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 05:55:35 PM »
Thanks for the update Naxos and good to hear you are doing well.
JM
03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45%  VL 25
02/25/14 CD4   792/37%  VL UD
07/09/14 CD4 1004/39%   VL UD
11/03/14 CD4   711/34%   VL UD

Offline Dan0

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  • Posts: 513
Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2014, 09:34:19 PM »
The only thing that I can add is that at that time of the morning, most of us don't truly wake up until the coffee hits our system.  If you have lot of distractions or just don't get running on all 8 cyclinders for a while, you may want to consider the ever popular pill dispenser!  You know...."Monday", "Tuesday", etc. 

It sounds corny now and it is. You probably have your bottle and all the pills carefully inventoried.  However, in the future you'll probably have some excess pills in the cabinet and this will be old school.  There have been a few times that I looked at that bottle and said to myself, "Did I take that damn pill?!" 

That's one of the reasons I switched to taking them at night. I was more clear headed and after double-dosing once on Atripla (which has all the subtle nuances of being hit by a Buick!) I ran....not walked....to the store and got that granny dispenser.
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline AusShep

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2014, 10:21:15 PM »
Here's another vote for the dispenser. 
I tried various other approaches and ended up having to count pills, or possibly doubling up more than once; even after setting AM and PM alarms on my phone and swearing not to turn it off before I took my meds.  I opted for a pretty big one, so it holds 2 weeks of AM and PM prescriptions and supplements.  Makes it easy heading out of town or going on vacation too.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2014, 07:42:43 AM »
And yet another vote for a pill tray. I'm on a once-a-day dosing combo (three pills, but once a day) and I have one of those trays that has a separate, removable section for each day, with four compartments for each day (morning, midday, evening, night). I use one of these because I only have to fill it once a month (well, every 28 days). The first week I take the pills in the morning compartments, the next week the midday compartments, and so on.

I also keep two complete doses in a small container that I can take out with me, just in case. I always rotate these into the first two compartments of my pill tray when I do my monthly refill, and put fresh ones in my take-away container.

If I use pills out of my take-away, I put the pills I "missed" from my tray into the take-away. I freaked myself out a couple times, because upon seeing the meds still sitting in my tray the next day, I'd think I'd totally forgotten my meds because I forgot I'd taken them while out, so I started doing the swap thing. It saves my sanity, or what's left of it. (did that make sense? lol)

Another advantage of using a "monthly" pill tray is when you're someone who has to order your meds monthly, you have a visual, daily reminder of how close you are to having to reorder. I have a separate pill tray for other meds I take, one of which has to be reordered every month, and if it weren't for having this visual reminder I'd be ordering late most months. In fact I was ordering late all too often before I started using the pill tray.

I double check my pill tray(s) about five times a week - probably more - to make sure I've taken my meds. I usually have, but occasionally I'm glad I've checked because I haven't. I've always been crap at remembering to take meds or remembering if I did or not. It's amazing I didn't end up with dozens of children back when I was on The Pill. ;D

Another med tip - if you're someone who is lucky enough to be able to build a stock-pile of meds, make sure you always use the oldest pills first. Keep them rotated. This way you won't end up with out-of-date meds.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2014, 07:45:42 AM »
Im dependent on a my pill organizer and hope I never get to the point where I forget where I put it . 

Offline eric48

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Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2014, 08:22:44 PM »
I have 26 weekly pill schedulers
I fill only 2x year

Cost schedulor $ 3 x26
My time $1000/h
So econoically effective , they are
Mobile .eric
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 3 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: NCT02157311 = 4d. ON, 3d. OFF)

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2014, 07:45:37 AM »
I have 26 weekly pill schedulers
I fill only 2x year

Cost schedulor $ 3 x26
My time $1000/h
So econoically effective , they are
Mobile .eric

I want some of that stuff that you've been smoking.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline eric48

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  • Posts: 1,207
  • @HIVPharmaCure & tinyurl.com/HIVPharmaCure
Re: Starting treatment (Complera) next week. Any advice?
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2014, 08:31:27 AM »
Whoonga but with viramune I need a booster
 ;)

Scheduler: i have few models
Preferred: muji
Google for images muji pill scheduler

Not too intrsive , detachable cases ideal for busy bee
Mob.eric
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 3 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: NCT02157311 = 4d. ON, 3d. OFF)

 


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