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

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john:
OK not literally, but being recently diagnosed i have realized that I have been in a fog for the last four to five years. It seems like I can remember things but Its like I almost wasn't me. I have made the choice to start A PI regimen(reyataz,Truvada,Norvir) due to the fact that Sustiva scares me. It seems as though Sustiva is the first line choice but, everything I read just seems like so many Side effects.I hope I Made the right choice. Just filled my script and I can honestly say" If it wasn't for this site I wouldn't know how I would cope" Thanks all(my 2 cents)

aztecan:
Hey John,
Welcome! I know exactly what you mean about being in a fog, kind of detached, like you are watching your life but not really being a part of it. I was there - for about seven years.

I finally snapped out of it and began taking control of my life and my health. It sounds like you are doing that as well. Good!

I have no experience with your particular regimen, but I have been on a PI regimen (AZT, Epivir, Crixivan) for 10 years.

First line treatments seem to come and go, kind of like a "cocktail du jour." What is important is for you to find a regimen that works for you and that you can adhere to.

As far as Sustiva goes, I know a lot of people who are taking it. Some do very well with it, with few or no side effects. Others, well, just didn't fare as well.

The virus and meds act differently for all us. So, if this regimen works for you, that's great.  :)

Since you are just starting, be aware there may be side effects, such as diarrhea, etc., that could last anywhere from two to eight weeks. After that, most of us have found that things calm down.

I'm sure your doctor mentioned this, but just in case he/she didn't, I thought I would.

By the way, what were your numbers prior to your starting meds? One thing I and many others do is to keep copies of our lab results so we can track them over time. It is one of the best ways for you to take control of your own health.

Hang in there and let us know how you are doing.

HUGS,

Mark

doyourowndamndishes:
Hi John!

Welcome to the Clan!  Many of us go through that period of adjustment, getting use to being hiv+, coming to terms with it, accepting it and finally deciding to take the bull by the horns and be an active participant in our health.  With me, I had a gut feeling that I was hiv+ but it took a few years before I found a new family doctor that specializes in hiv and then went to be tested for confirmation.  After finding out it still took me about a year, maybe a year and a half before I was ready to deal with hiv and take control of my health.  Like Mark, I have no experience with your combo, except the reyataz (Atazanavir).  My first cocktail was Nelfinavir + Combivir.  I've been on PI therapy ever since.  Presently I'm on Kivexa (Epizcom: 3TC+ABC) + Atazanavir.  I've had great results with reyataz: just before the switch to reyataz I was on Kaletra.  Even though it is a very powerful drug, it is notorious for screwing up cholesterol and triglycerides.  I was no exception.  Rather than adding a "statin" drug to control the lipid profile, I switched to atazanavir and the results have been night and day. 

Regarding side effects, I agree with what Mark mentioned.  I also want to add that some side effects, even after the 8 week window, can sometimes jump up and bite ya in the ass and then disappear as quickly as the come on.  For example, about every 3 or 4 months I'll get a bout of insomnia.  I know insomnia is a possible side effect of me meds but I never had that problem the first 2 months.  It hits me for a day or two and then goes away, no problems, till it pops it's head up again.  So don't be shocked if side effects make encore appearances.  If they come back and persist, then it's a good idea to talk to your doctor.

Take care and keep in touch.

Cheers,

Alan

john:
cd4 188 vl 80,000 and some OI Bulls**t
 
Anyway, just curious to know where other people started and where they are now. also what drugs were used.
My Id doc tried to basically shove sustiva down my throat. I chose Reyataz because of things I read in the old Forums. I realize everyone needs to make their own choices. I passed on Kaletra Because I was worried about lipid problems as I am working on improving my diet. I just hope I don't turn yellow.

                Thanks for your help...   John

aztecan:
Back in the dayswhen I started, they had different thresholds, so it may not be a fair comparison.

But, here is where I started in March 1996: Viral load in the 60,000 range; CD4s in the 400s, (440 something, I think.)

As of January (my last labs): Viral load undetectable; CD4s - 1,462.

Based on the numbers you quoted, I agree with you, it is time to start.

Just FYI.

HUGS,

Mark

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