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Author Topic: What drugs should I choose?  (Read 2837 times)

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Offline CaliGuy22

  • Member
  • Posts: 98
What drugs should I choose?
« on: May 02, 2008, 11:24:39 PM »
Hey all!

The Dr. I was seeing (whom I love!) is an awesome woman and has been an HIV specialist for years. I lost my insurance last month and am not sure when I can see her again but she kept asking me what drugs I wanted to be on and what I wanted my treatment to be. Mind you I am sure she would tell me "No those won't work together" if I picked to bad ones but I have never been on meds and don't know what ones are good for beginning and advanced etc. I have been reading a lot over the past two months but still not sure. She wants me to be a active part of my treatment and decisions and told me "go stud,y read, and find out what you want" but I am still not sure. I know a lot of people wait until they are sick or low count to start meds. I have decided to start now with the thinking "I don't want to be positive and not treat it". Trust me I have read a lot of info and opinions on both sides saying wait on drugs or don't wait. i feel I am choosing the best plan for me. But I guess I go back to the question what drugs are "starter" and what drugs are for advanced stages. I find a ton of info on people saying Wait until your count goes down. But I would love to hear from people that started there meds right away or shortly there after.  ???

Compassion is Revolution.

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,175
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: What drugs should I choose?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2008, 08:01:31 AM »
Hey Caliguy

There's material in the lessons on this site that might help you organize your thoughts on the drugs.  Here's a link to the section of the lessons in case you haven't seen it:


You might want to focus your research on the recommended starting drugs -- still a big list, but more manageable than the whole.  Some things to think about are:
- What changes would I need to make in my life if I were on this drug?
- Do I have a personal or family history that would make potential side effects of a drug a big problem? (e.g. depression or high cholesterol)? -- but remember that side effects aren't guaranteed from any of the drugs -- they are more of a potential issue
 . . .

Then sit back and ask yourself "What else, besides another discussion with my doctor, do I think I need to ask about in order to feel comfortable that I've made the right decision?"  That may give you a list of questions so that you can have a better discussion with the doctor. 

By the way, it's helpful to write the questions down before you visit with her -- there will be a lot of information to process and it's easy to forget something if you don't have a written list.

But try not to stress out too much over which combination to start with, but instead resolve to endure very careful monitoring after you start -- these days if the first combo doesn't work out there's lots of alternatives.  The main thing is to start  at the right time with an effective combo.  And your doctor will make sure that what you choose is something that is demonstrated to be effective for most folks.

Best wishes
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%
2014 VL UD - 48
2015 VL 130 Moved to Triumeq

Offline pacerintl

  • Member
  • Posts: 83
Re: What drugs should I choose?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2008, 04:12:58 AM »
"go stud,y read, and find out what you want" And can't even begin to think what that wouldbilti mean.
There is no way someone without several years of medical training can begin to research and suggest what might be right for you.  There's no problem in you doing your own research on what NNRTIs, NRTIs, and protease inhibitors are to get a basic understanding of how they work.... great place to start wouid be here  http://www.aidsmeds.com/list.shtml

But unless you have an advanced degree (PhD, MD) in chemistry, pharmacholgy or medicine there no way for you to even begin to predict what meds you might want to start on.
In California Aids Healthcare Foundation provides medical care to people with HIV or Aids regardless of ability to pay,   http://www.aidshealth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=541&Itemid=248

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,058
Re: What drugs should I choose?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2008, 07:55:32 AM »
Yes, you want to be proactive and knowledgeable in your treatment, but I'm not sure what your doctor is asking you. There are only so many drug combos and your doctor should tell you your options and why those options are best suited to you at this time. That's why your doctor is there.

If you don't have insurance your drug options might be limited by ADAP. For example, you might have researched and decided you want to try Prezista, but Prezista might not be approved as a front line drug. These are things your doctor would know and should provide that information to you before you make your own decisions on meds and then are denied by ADAP and have to turn around and make another choice.

I may be reading you wrong  but this whole scenario troubles me. 

Offline BlueMoon

  • Member
  • Posts: 665
  • Calling from the Fun House
Re: What drugs should I choose?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2008, 08:31:17 AM »
This is something that your doctor should be telling you.  There are a lot of factors based on your personal medical profile that need to be considered. 
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,542
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: What drugs should I choose?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2008, 08:45:21 AM »

When I started on meds, I sat down with my doctor that morning and we discussed all the possible med combinations that were available back in 2003. The entire conversation lasted, at least two hours. We talked thouroughly on several different subject matters. Nothing was rushed. Possible side effects were discussed, along with what he had seen favorably work, in his other patients, with the minimal amount of side effects.   This conversation also consisted of looking at my past blood test results. We talked about almost all the medications. At that time, the doctor wanted to hold off on placing me on the Protease Inhibitors. So, After discussing my life, my habits, and having the doctor ask me such questions as , do I drink alcohol ?, Do I do drugs? Am I working. The answer to those questions were no, no and yes, fulltime. I didn't mind answering those questions. I am sure that the first two questions were asked, so he could have a better idea, as to whether I may have had a problem with alcohol or drugs, which could be a problem for being adherent to the meds. I told him there would be no problem being adherent to the meds. Since he also knew I worked fulltime, perhaps that was the reason he choose Viramune, instead of Sustiva. He also knew where I was starting from, which was with an aids diagnosis with 16 t-cells. I also find it strange that that your doctor is asking you to research and pick your meds. This doesn't sound right to me.


Take care----Ray

Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 20mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 9/24/2017

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/18/2017,  Viral load remains <40
CD 4 @358 /  CD4 % @ 13

 65 years young.


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