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Author Topic: Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada side effects  (Read 7140 times)

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Offline atdn

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Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada side effects
« on: June 25, 2008, 08:52:15 PM »
Several people have switched out their protease inhibitor for Isentress. After 60 days all remained undetectable. They seem to be reporting similar side effects.: Fatigue, stomach problems and headaches. Sometimes ringing in the ears. Two say they have great dreams. The only lingering problem that doesn't seem to go away is the need to take at least a half hour nap after taking a day dose of Isentress. Is anyone else experiencing this?

Also, it seems that eating a meal before or with the drug really cuts down on stomach effects. Merck recommends that the drug be taken with food. Not just coffee and a doughnut but a meal really seems to help. The headaches seem to last just the first few days, but once again food seems to help. The fatigue issue seems to be the only unresolved issue. Some people do take naps. One person tried caffeine but seemed to be even more tired one or two hours later. Has anyone come up with anything other than taking naps and always getting a good sleep?

Also, does anyone else find that taking the drugs about four hours apart resolves some stomach and other issues?


Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada side effects
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2008, 09:29:43 PM »
atdn, where are you getting this information from?  What do you mean by "several people"?  Several people where?  Here on this forum?

I've been on this med now for 7 months, and I've had ZERO side effects (I've had a few headaches, but not more than 3 during that period that only necessitated taking 1-2 aspirin, so not excessive and nothing I'd chalk up to the medication).  I've had no fatigue issues, no diarrhea, no nausea.  Certainly no ear ringing or anything to do with dreams.  Additionally I'm in a local support group where I know 3 other people on this med and none have reported side effects -- in fact we're all in agreement that Isentress is easily the most tolerable HIV med we've taken in the past 15-20 years.

Merck does not state that it should be taken with food -- where ARE you getting your information?  Isentress may be taken either with or without food.


I also would not recommend taking a med that's prescribed as 2 tablets each day separated by 12 hours and trying to do something involving 4 hours -- what in the world are you talking about there?  Cutting up the pills?

Sorry, but a lot of this isn't making sense to me but I look forward to you coming back to clear up these points.

Welcome to AIDSmeds at any rate, and good luck.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 09:32:25 PM by philly267 »
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Offline freestate guy

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Re: Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada side effects
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2008, 12:43:48 AM »

I have been on the Isentess/Truvada regimen since December 2007 and likewise have had no side effects that I can attribute to Isentress. I was previously on Kaletra with Truvada. Spent most of the time on the john with Kaletra.  Isentress is one pill twice a day and Truvada is prescribed at one pill once a day. Relatively simple regimen since food is not an issue. No runs, nausea, stomach aches, or noticable change in my fatigue level. My VL remained undetectable from Kaletra and my other numbers are decent. Lipids are marginally better.

Freestate Guy

Offline atdn

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Re: Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada side effects
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 04:23:40 AM »
Thanks for responding to my post! Trying to see what other people are experiencing while sharing the anecdotes I have. A lot of my clients do take Isentress and have no side effects they feel are related to the drug.

Glad to hear no one here is having significant side effects while experiencing good virologic activity. Three clients I was talking about all are HCV co-infected. Maybe that is the source of the side effects. Metabolic rates can be different in people with liver disease so maybe that is the reason why all three have been suggested by their doctors to take the Truvada midday. Another client has also had some fatigue issues as well, so that makes four. I pointed out these four cases because the only thing they changed was to add Isentress. They are also the only four to say anything.

I was wrong about the food thing being on the label. It was an observation by one of the docs who studied the drug. The PK studies don't show any difference in absorption based on food, but the studies definitely showed different side effects are possible. Considering this is not yet a drug that has been used for many years, I suspect that people will have differing initial responses. Just asking for any feedback or experiences. No argument that replacing whatever they were on with Isentress isn't better than what they were taking.

I was not suggesting cutting up pills. Here's the link to the drug information approved by the FDA. http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/i/isentress/isentress_pi.pdf It does actually mention rash, ISR and some other side effects that may or may not be related to Isentress. Once again, I'm just discussing what four people who are taking the drug are or have experienced. Such information is anecdotal but when a client mentions it I track it down and make sure their docs are aware of what they are experiencing - if the client wants me to, that is. Cycling through regimens because of side effects is the worst. It's good to hear it's working out well for other people so thanks for responding.


"The side effects most commonly reported among study volunteers who received Isentress were diarrhea, nausea, and headache"



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