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Author Topic: Truvada and High Potassium levels  (Read 6449 times)

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Offline just_joe

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Truvada and High Potassium levels
« on: July 23, 2007, 02:05:34 AM »
About six months ago I was cruising along, feeling fine and on Truvada. I had been on it for quite a while. One weekend I started feeling like crap. I was very week and was having trouble lifting my arms and legs and experiencing tremors. I went to the doctor thinking it was something neurological. He did blood and sent me for and CT and MRI. While having the MRI done I got a call from my doctor stating the my labs were back and I was to go directly to the ER because I had a potassium level of 6.7! From all of this the doctor realized that the long term use of Truvada had caused these spikes in my potassium. He took me off the Truvada and put me on Virad three times a week with Emtriva. My potassium levels came down and everything has been good. He told me that they have found that 1 in 15 patients may experience this situation from long term use of Truvada. Has anyone had a similar experience?

Offline aztecan

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2007, 11:00:50 AM »
Hey Just Joe,

This is the first I have heard about Truvada causing high potassium levels. I know that potassium levels can be tricky - too little or too much can be potentially dangerous.

Thanks for the alert.


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Offline allanq

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2007, 11:32:27 AM »
Truvada is a combination of Viread and Emtriva. If your doctor took you off Truvada, it wouldn't make sense to subsitute Viread and Emtriva. If all he wanted to do was to reduce the dose to three times a week, it seems he could have done that with Truvada.

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Offline redhotmuslbear

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2007, 11:52:45 AM »
Agree with the comments re the pill switch not sounding right.  Potassium regulation involves the kidneys, and Viread or Truvada could be causing the problem or exacerbating one that was brewing before.  Did the doc not recommend following a diet similar to one used by kidney transplant recipients?  A former co-worker with a husband with a borrowed kidney used to talk about his K restrictions.... I'll see if I can find out more.
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Offline just_joe

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2007, 05:43:37 PM »
At the time this all took place my M.D. did ask me to change my diet and hydrate. The only reason I can assume he changed the med regime to the Viread three times a week was because he thought the dose of Truvada daily over the expanded period of time was causing the spike in Potassium and the Emtriva still needed to be given daily. I specifically asked him about why this happened and he told me it was a trend that they were now seeing in 1 out of 15 patience that have been on long term use of Truvada. Since the switch I've had normal potassium levels and I have no diet restrictions.

Offline BT65

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2007, 09:10:34 PM »
I never experienced this on Truvada, but I'm resistant to it now, so I don't take it.  Interesting though...
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Offline newt

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2007, 06:54:01 AM »
Just to say that the switch to a separate Viread 3 x week + Emtriva (daily) is more sensible than it sounds. This would be in line with the approach for using this drug in renal insufficiency. A different nuke would of course be the alternative way to manage this.

- matt
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Offline jack

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2007, 03:34:30 PM »
I have not experienced your situation but I have done all three drugs. The thing that is really weird to me is both viread and emtriva made me very sick and nauseated 24/7,and I know it was those drugs doing it because the moment I stopped them,I felt like a human again, but Truvada does not make me ill at all. I dont get it,it makes no sense.

Offline just_joe

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2007, 03:58:23 PM »
So much of all the drug thing makes no sense. I've been a lucky guy where as my side effects have been very few. Sometimes I think I have a cast iron stomach. :)

Offline Christine

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Re: Truvada and High Potassium levels
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2007, 05:16:02 PM »
I had not heard about the potassium levels either. Thank you for posting it.

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