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Author Topic: First Time Taking Atripla  (Read 6374 times)

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ChicagoMike

  • Guest
First Time Taking Atripla
« on: November 21, 2006, 11:34:51 PM »
I am about to start Atripla for the first time tonight.  It says not to take with food.   What are the complications if you do take with food?  Meaning, how long do i have to wait before I can take my pill after eating?

Another question, does it matter if you take the pill at different times before bed?  On the weekends I tend to stay up later....maybe midnight.....whereas during the week I am bed by 9:30.

Thanks for your help!!!!!
Mike

Offline newt

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  • Posts: 3,878
  • the one and original newt
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2006, 02:41:33 AM »
Hello

Atripla: Sustiva, Viread, FTC in one hand pill...

In terms of the drug working, food / no food or time of day, make no difference.  These recommendations are to help minimise Sustiva side effects.

Food: the "food" thing is for Sustiva side effects, eg dreams, which are usually worse if you take it with food.  No food means nowt but water 2 hrs before and 1 hr after.  As ever, this is quite individual, and some people can take food / a snack and have no extra bad effects / take it sooner after eating. For you to discover....

Timing: after 5 days the Sustiva will reach a steady concentration n timing becomes not so important.  All the drugs in Atripla last a long time in your body so timing wise a few hours difference each day ain't gonna make any difference.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Queen Tokelove

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  • Posts: 6,033
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2006, 04:27:29 AM »
I have been keeping up with those posts about Atripla and the side effects they have been having. It seems like some get that drunken feeling and takes it before bed. Some have had no side effects at all. I guess like most things it depends on the person. When I start meds that will be what I will be taking because I have issues with taking pills. Please let me know how it is working out with you.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline antibody

  • Member
  • Posts: 525
  • "every man thinks his burden is the heaviest"
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2006, 12:28:04 PM »
it works. i was undec by first labs. my viral load was never high. it was like 8300 when i started meds. the only thing if you have a problem taking pills this is a monster. i mean huge. it's 3 drugs in 1 so talk about a horse pill.
Timbuk      <50/ 794  CD4 10/06 
                 <50/ 1096 CD4 3/07
                 <40/ 1854 CD4 4/09

Started Atripla  7/14/06
Switched to boosted Reyataz Truvada 3/28/07

*Ask me about Medical Marijuana and how it can help you!*

ChicagoMike

  • Guest
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2006, 03:59:27 PM »
Thanks for the replies.

I will have to say, I am very please with Atripla.  I had been on Kaletra/Truvada and always had upset stomach and the usual side effects each time I took the pills 2x per day.  Now with Atripla, I have not had any of those problems, also I seem to be lucky in that I don't have the really tired feeling you are supposed to get when starting for the first time and no dreams!  WOOHOO!

Will see how it goes, but am very happy with this regiment!

Mike

Offline skip

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2006, 11:33:16 PM »
hi i was diagnosed 2 months ago and doc put me right on atripla very pleased so far have had dreams thats about it take it whenever i go to sleep early or late even  on full stomach sometimes. and my first bloodwork came back this week unditectable(sorry bad spelling)hehe doc really pleased and surprised imonth of taking them.

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2006, 08:58:27 AM »
I've been on Atripla for 2.5 weeks now.  I take mine right before I get into bed, regardless of the time.  I take it out of the bottle and lay it on the nightstand so when I turn off the light, I'll see it and take it.  If I take it too early, I have a hard time going to sleep and staying asleep.  It's also difficult to take at a specific time, as we eat dinner at various times, too.  What I've been doing lately is having a small snack (something low fat) right before I take it.  It seems to delay the problems I had with sleep.  Other than a few funky but cool dreams and a little unsteadiness in the morning (like drunkenness), I don't seem to have any side  effects to speak of.  I actually feel really good when I get up at 5:15 am.  Good luck with it.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline AustinWesley

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  • Posts: 815
    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2006, 02:40:44 PM »
Are there any problems with alcohol with Atripla?   I hear most people take it at night.   I was curious to hear if anyone who drinks encountered additional problems?

LOL, now I sound like an alcoholic : )   

Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline Tucsonwoody

  • Member
  • Posts: 396
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2006, 03:20:37 PM »
Austin -

By coincidence I was at my doctors today and due to the upcoming holidays asked her is any of my meds would prevent me from having alcohol.  Her reply was: one or two glasses of wine, beer or liquor would not be a problem.

In addition to the Atripla (started about 3 weeks ago) I take 8 other meds for various things (but got to drop 2 of them today after doctors visit!) so it sounds like a couple of brewskis won't be a problem.  Yea - now the trick for me is to find the biggest damn wine glass ever made...she said I could have two...she didn't say how big the glass should be!  :)

Oh and another thing about Atripla...besides hopefully saving my life...it's the easiest horse sized pill to swallow that I have ever taken.  The coating on that pill makes it one slippery sucker...

Good luck and hope you have a great holiday.

Kevin
And I wished for guidance, and I wished for peace
I could see the lightning; somewhere in the east
And I wished for affection, and I wished for calm
As I lay there - Nervous in the light of dawn

Offline AustinWesley

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  • Posts: 815
    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2006, 04:56:53 PM »
Austin -

By coincidence I was at my doctors today and due to the upcoming holidays asked her is any of my meds would prevent me from having alcohol.  Her reply was: one or two glasses of wine, beer or liquor would not be a problem.

In addition to the Atripla (started about 3 weeks ago) I take 8 other meds for various things (but got to drop 2 of them today after doctors visit!) so it sounds like a couple of brewskis won't be a problem.  Yea - now the trick for me is to find the biggest damn wine glass ever made...she said I could have two...she didn't say how big the glass should be!  :)

Oh and another thing about Atripla...besides hopefully saving my life...it's the easiest horse sized pill to swallow that I have ever taken.  The coating on that pill makes it one slippery sucker...

Good luck and hope you have a great holiday.

Kevin

LOL Kevin!   I picture you now with a fish bowl on a stem ; )   Thanks for the info.  I go back for round 4 of tests in January and I stalled it due to the holidays a bit, but I think I'm acutually doing just fine.   I hope you are too.   Appreciate the insight!
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline roscoe

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
  • I'm think im dealing with this pretty good!
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2006, 03:23:07 AM »
I too am starting to take Atripla tonight.  I was originally concerned about having to take it on an empty stomach. I wasn't too sure exactly what "empty" meant, ???  and what side effect it could cause. I found "newt"'s info reassuring (thanks). If nightmares are the effects, I guess it could be worse. I have to get in the habit of eating earlier, as this was not the case before. I went to get my lab work done yesterday my Dr wants me back on February 6 for the next one. I'll have my counts at that time, and see if  I am to continue with Atripla or not.  Wish me Roscoe.

Offline Tucsonwoody

  • Member
  • Posts: 396
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2006, 10:53:35 AM »
Hey Roscoe - Just started my second month of Atripla and continue to be one of the lucky ones with minimal or no side effects...so far.  When I first started, I was very careful to be sure I waited at least 2 hours after eating anything before I took the pill before bed. 

After I saw I wasn't having side effects, I decided to experiment a little and have taken the pill as soon as 30-45 minutes after having a snack (if you call a large banana split a snack!) and again...so far I continue to escape the side effects.  So it seems that like many medications, each of us will react differently and hopefully I will be lucky enough not to see the side effects pop up in the future.

I hope you are also one of the lucky ones and avoid the side effects (well maybe if you have a wonderful dream now and then, that would be okay!) and see big improvements in your health.

Good lucky and Happy New Year!

Kevin
And I wished for guidance, and I wished for peace
I could see the lightning; somewhere in the east
And I wished for affection, and I wished for calm
As I lay there - Nervous in the light of dawn

Offline mrtallguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 199
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2006, 09:08:25 PM »
Hey Mike.....
I have been on Sustiva and Truvada (combined together makes Atripla) for 6 months....I did not have any weird dreams and it did not bother my sleep too much at first....I would take the Truvada in the AM and Sustiva at night.  Then I went on the Atripla and took it at night.....big difference for me....all those drugs hitting my system at once (The Truvada is actually 2 drugs so you are taking 3 drugs total with Atripla) messed up my sleep badly and I would have a funky taste in my mouth the next day.   I went back to Trudava in the AM and Sustiva at night but now the Sustiva seems to have built up to the point where it really screws with my sleep.  So what was great at first has changed.   I tried taking it during the day but the high was intense to the point where I would get really paranoid at work.   I am going to post a new topic about splitting the Sustiva in half and taking it twice/day so it doesn't slam my system.   I sent my doc an email about doing that so I should hear back after the holiday....hope I can do that.   I will post the results of that situation.

As for food I make sure I eat 3 hours prior to taking the Sustiva...fatty foods (like nuts) increase the absorbtion rate of nutrients in the stomach/intestine so if you eat fatty foods then allow the 3 hours.  Otherwise if you are a health nut and eat just protein and veggies for dinner you could take it 30 min after dinner.  The fat is the trigger.  I made this fierce peanut butter/chocolate bar dessert a few nights ago....took my Sustiva an hour later and tossed and turned all night...UGH!!!!  A few weeks ago I ate pistachios 4 hours after taking the Sustiva in the morning and the nuts intensified the "high" three-fold....I thought I might have to go to the ER....it was actually scary.   I'm still learning!  If you have alot of trouble with the Atripla then go to the Truvada and Sustiva combo so you can better control the timing of the drugs.  I know...2 co-pays instead of one....bummer!

We all react differently so err on the side of caution until you know how your system will respond.   The drug is amazing in that my viral load is undetectable and CD4 count is 725.

Good Luck! and Be Well!

Craig   
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 09:11:31 PM by mrtallguy »
I AM DETERMINED TO SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY!
--ACIM

Offline Tucsonwoody

  • Member
  • Posts: 396
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2006, 09:22:59 PM »
Hello Craig - and others interested

Sorry to hear about your troubles with the meds.  Here is part of the info posted on The Body website about Sustiva - maybe it will answer some questions if you can go to a lower dose but more often each day to minimize the effects.

"Standard dose: One 600 mg tablet, typically at bedtime; on an empty stomach or with a light, low-fat snack. Also available in smaller 50 mg, 100 mg and 200 mg capsules. Dose can be split up. Approved for children 3 years and older. Strawberry/mint flavored solution available to children under expanded access program. Take missed dose as soon as possible, but do not double up on your next dose."

Here is the link to full article: http://www.thebody.com/tpan/drug_guide/sustiva.html

Hope things get better again soon!

Kevin
And I wished for guidance, and I wished for peace
I could see the lightning; somewhere in the east
And I wished for affection, and I wished for calm
As I lay there - Nervous in the light of dawn

Offline roscoe

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
  • I'm think im dealing with this pretty good!
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2006, 09:48:50 PM »
Tucsonwoody, thanks. i took my pill last night right before I went to bed, after having had a small snack probably one and a half hours earlier. I did have one weird strange dream of colors, but I am chalking that up to my nerves. I hope any dreams in the future could be so colorful, all I remember is colors. (weird). I am glad I found this forum, as I truly don't have anyone to talk to about this...Wish me Roscoe.

Offline mrtallguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 199
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2006, 01:24:44 PM »
Hey Kevin,

Thanks for the link!  I was not aware of www.thebody.com but it looks like it could be another very useful resource.  Since Sustiva is available in 200mg capsules I will talk with my doc about taking 2 or 3 of those during the day and thereby reduce the "hit" to my system.  It seems odd that they are starting people out at the highest dose instead of starting at 200mg or 400mg and increasing if needed.  The guys who make 'em and the guys who take 'em are still figuring this out!

Have a great New Year!

Be Well!

Craig
I AM DETERMINED TO SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY!
--ACIM

Offline TigNYC

  • member
  • Posts: 2
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2009, 10:28:48 AM »
Today marks one week since I began Atripla. My mornings have been a bit dizzy but I have been off, so no big deal. Finally today, I feel more myself. I took my pill at 11 last night and woke at 10 am.....tired, but from a run yesterday, I think.

It's true, on an empty stomach, no problems. Haven't had bad dreams either. YeeHa!

Offline arkcub

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2009, 10:06:07 PM »
I've been positive for 13.5 years, aware of it for 12 years, and seeing an ID for 9 years (there were 2.5 years of DEEP denial between awareness and my first foray to an ID).  For 8.5 years after starting to see an ID and regular 6-month blood panels, I was asymptomatic with an undetectable viral load and TCells typically over 1,400.  Then, after a disastrous one-night a year ago (read: 'Oops!  The condom broke!  And did I forget to mention I've had AIDS for the past 5 years that I haven't been taking any meds for?") it all changed.  And starting about 6 months ago my load went up (to over 8,500) and my tcells down (to under 800).  Now, knowing my numbers were really nothing to be TOO alarmed about, my doc was still concerned about my speedy changes and decided that I should start meds...

I started the Atripla about 3 weeks ago.  Initially, my only real reaction was that I had some FREAKY dreams.  Very vivid, very surreal, and VERY bizarre.  Just crazy stuff!  I've always had strange dreams but these ones made my old ones look pre-pubescent and demure.  After a couple of days though (my regimen being nighttime doses), things began to smooth out.  However, I find that if I eat too soon before taking the Atripla, or eat any time after taking it, my sleep is erratic at best.  So, I've learned to control my eating and things haven't been too bad.  The dreams are odd from time to time, but nothing like those first nights.  I know the effects of the eating & dreams correleations are different for many people, this has been what I've experienced.

After exactly 1 week, I noticed a small cluster of red bumps on the top of my right thigh.  It was a little itchy but I figured it was sweat mixed with undisolved detergent.  Easy explanation, right?    At that time, I wasn't aware that the Sustiva could/would cause rash and/or hives.  Within 6 hours, that little quarter-sized patch turned into a head-to-toe rash.  It was in my armpits, the tops of my shoulders, the inside of my forearms, my groin, back of my neck, butt, backs of both my legs, tops of my feet, back of my head, bottoms of my feet, and somewhat on my chest & stomach.  It was almost like a heat rash.  Wherever my body was hot, that's where the rash was.  The only place the rash really wasn't was on my face and my penis; the two places I always thought were pretty hot.   ;D  The rash put an end to THAT pipe-dream!  LOL  Soon, the rash turned into sporadic hives.  Mostly on the tops of my feet, the back of my head, and the underside of my forearms.  I scratched & scratched & scratched and finally not being able to take it any more I hit the drugstore for some Benadryl, Calamine lotion, and some oatmeal bath stuff.  

Being allergic to penicillen I break out in hives, and they can actually close my throat down where I can't breathe.  So, I was a little panicky that the same thing might happen again (albeit I knew these hives weren't from a penicillen related outbreak).  So, I took the Benadryl, coated some of the worst spots with lotion and conked out.  The next morning, the hives had gone into overdrive.  I was itchy EVERYwhere (except my face and penis...  :D ).  After hitting the web for similiar folks and potential treatments, I decided to call my doc and get some guidance.  He said that considering the severity that I should keep up with the Benadryl, do the baths, stop the Calamine lotion, and cease taking the Atripla.  I was to wait 48 hours, see how the rash was doing and then he'd start me on other meds.  So, that whole day I scratched like a madman, took two oatmeal baths, and only 1 Benadryl during the day and then one that night.  The next day (my first work day after starting the Atripla) I was MUCH better.  The hives were gone and only the somewhat red spots of what used to be the rash remained.

Still being a bit depressed, anxious, nervous, and scared out of my effin' mind about my numbers shifting so radically, I decided to start back up on the Atripla (against my doc's orders, mind you).  Only being off the med that one day, that first night I could not sleep.  The Atripla made me very skittish & nervous and the energy from that kept me up.  I slept very fitfully and when I dreamt it was again bizarre like those first couple of nights...  And yes, the rash & hives returned, but they did so in a really weird way.

Over the course of the next week I found that each day I would get itchy in only one part of my body at a time.  I would scratch the bejesus out that spot for like an hour or two and then the hives never came back again.  That first day the hives were on the tops of my thighs.  The next it was the backs of my knees.  Then it was the tops of both my feet, my right butt cheek, the inside of my forearms, the back of my neck & head, and lastly my hands (back & palms).  After each day, the rash & hives never came back (and haven't since).  And after 7 days, I've been hive & rash free.  The spottiness is kinda there if you look really hard, but if you weren't looking, you'd never notice it was a rash.

I've been on the Atripla for almost 2 weeks straight since that one-day reprieve and all has been fine.  The dreams are still a bit wacky sometimes (usually from eating when I shouldn't), and the fatigue I get is directly because of the lack of steady deep sleep, but I feel pretty good overall.  Very mild lack-of-concentration issues, and only miniscule irritability (which I chalk both up to the inconsistent sleep).  And my initial lack of an appetite lasted for just a few days but today it's back like it always was (which ain't all that great for this future Jenny Craig spokesman).

So, I'm not sure if my body just adapted very, very quickly to the Atripla, or if that one-day reprieve did the trick, or both, or something completely different.  All I know is that I feel that much more hopeful about tomorrow knowing that I'm not gonna turn into a rash-infested X-Men Mystique look-a-like, or be so exhausted that I can't open my eyes, let alone do complex math calculations at work.  I'm probably in the minority, and maybe an anomoly, but while it's been very early in my experience with Atripla, for anyone else having to start it, just know that while there may be some bumpy side effects (no pun intended) but they very well may be short-lived for you (like they were for me), and that you shouldn't stop trying to get back to living as normal a life as possible after starting the drug.  I'm not sure if any one has had a similiar situation as me but I'd love to know about it.  If for no other reason to know that I'm not an anomolous freak.  :D

Sorry for the really long post but I'm just a guy here with a lot of heart with a lot to say, and I just wanted to share my story and maybe help one person out there be a little bit less scared and a little more hopeful about their future...

Peace!
:)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 10:51:33 PM by arkcub »

Offline amor_boricua85

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: First Time Taking Atripla
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2009, 07:14:28 AM »
I was actually very hesistant about starting my Atripla when I was given it, It stat on my dresser for atleast two weeks before I decided to take it. One night I have no idea what got into me but I just opend up the bottle and took one. 10 min later I felt drunk/high and loved them since LOL... NO but really I didn't have any side effects until a week later which was yesterday. I am right now experiencing this freaking rash all over my body and its a pain because of the itching. I was reading in another thread that it is a side effect of one of the meds in the atripla I guess and that its normal so I would recomment you look out for that within the first week to two mark of you taking it. I guess everyone reacts differently to it but seems as though alot of people on here have had this rash. Either than that I haven't had any bad experiences with the atripla and its been great so far I think for the week I have been on it I have had tones of energy in the morning and and seem to stay focused alot more.

 


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