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Author Topic: After being poz 11years I started Atripla  (Read 3160 times)

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Offline DaBear

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After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« on: January 20, 2009, 12:12:37 PM »
After 11 years poz, a viral load of 1236 and a cd4 count of 279 I started meds. Little things started to happen like troubles fighting infections, rashes. I have been on Atripla now for 14 days. The first 6 days I was so dizzy that I couldn't even think about getting in a car and driving. That has settled down and now I am only a little wobbly when I first wake up.  Yesterday I noticed "the rash" and am thinking whats next? It is from my neck to my feet, luckily not on my face. I have troubles getting a good night sleep because of the dreams. Some of them are cool but they NEVER stop. Even with an Ambien CR I still get them but at least I wake rested.  I have had real bad mood swings as of late and am not sure if this is the meds or just my frustration with not feeling "normal". I look at my blood levels and wonder if maybe I should have just stayed off of these pills.  I know these are not the worst side effects that can happen but I am just sort of depressed by the whole thing. Makes it all so real.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Offline mecch

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 06:36:07 PM »
Sorry to hear about the rough launch.
ID doc should be able to monitor about the side effects -- keep in close communication. 
I think you decided to start HAART and the first try is with Atripla. Remember there are other combos. The key is that you are now on HAART for the long term, so eventually you will find the right combo if eventually Atripla is not it.
As for feeling normal before HAART, whats that all about? Your immune system was seriously weakened. The reality is you started it to get back to normal functioning. HAART is effective medicine for a chronic disease. You had a nice long run without it, be grateful. Now you take your medicine but that doesnt make you abnormal. In fact I bet you feel quite different in a few weeks time, if not already.  Watch your body for the good signs, too.
Best of luck.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline pos2007

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2009, 10:47:36 PM »
I  was drunk  every night  for  first  3  months  but it  got  better.  I  also  had a rash  for  about  a  month ,  but  my  body  adjusted  till  it  went away  also
Diagnosed  CD4 138 VL. 38,000
Partner Diagnosed CD4 <20  VL.  488,000

Offline DaBear

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2009, 04:09:48 PM »
Using Benedryl to control the itch of the rash and it is manageable. It has now been close to 3 weeks and the dreams..ugh. They are so real. Had one last night that was SO vivid that even after I woke up I had to lay in bed and really think about what had happened to make sure it wasn't real. I am tired and just depressed today. I hate to sound like a baby, I know that others have had much worse effects than I am but I just need to vent.

Offline BT65

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2009, 04:57:54 PM »

We all have different levels of tolerance.  Vent away.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

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Offline richva

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2009, 05:04:04 PM »
DaBear -

You don't sound like a baby.  These meds can be frustrating!

It's my understanding that many folks who have tried Atripla (and those who prescribe it) say that it can take 4-6 weeks (or even longer) for some of the side effects you're encountering to resolve.  If things are getting even slightly better, you may want to hang in there and see if you continue to experience any improvement.  That said, roughly 5% of folks taking Atripla simply cannot tolerate its effects [often due to the efavirenz (Sustiva)].  Depression and insomnia are commonly reported.  I myself "lasted" for 7 months - much, much longer than I should have (or needed to.)  I finally decided to switch to Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir, and the change has been drastic.  I'm much happier, I sleep through the night (with my regular old dreams), and I'm energetic - more so, in fact, than even before I started Atripa (although I was feeling "well" without meds.)  My point is, be patient with side effects - but not too patient, if other options are available to you.


08/1989 Acquired
04/1992 Diagnosed
03/25/2008 (YUP - 16 years later!) CD4 336/21% VL 217,000; started meds
08/2012 - Alive, living! and doing just fine, TYVM (w/ props to my doc, insurance carrier and Complera. I remember every day that I'm a lucky boy.)

Offline webontheweb

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2009, 06:12:19 PM »
 :)  Welcome to the Atripla club,  I tok a couple weeks to get used to the medicine, but it is smooth sailing now.  16 months now and no side effects whatsoever.   I take it at bed time- or at what should be bed time if I am going out and do not notice anything.  Good luck and stick with it!  email me if you have other questions or problems.  I am here but for you!

Offline DaBear

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 12:51:03 AM »
OK....the rash has now settled down and I don't have to take the Benadryl anymore.  Having a funny feeling in my feet..LOL. Sort of like when you have taken a really long plane ride and your feet are swollen. seems worse at night. Will call my Dr about this. Not sure if anyone else has had this or not. The side effects are now almost entirely gone EXCEPT the dreams. Some of them are actually really cool but other times they are very scary.  I find that if I take a Ambien CR before bed I sleep well and the dreams are not bad. Without it I wake up every couple of hours and the dreams are so intense that I wake up exhausted. I woke up the other morning thinking I hadn't turned in several important projects. I layed in bed mentally going through my schedule and finally realized that I was actually in between projects and that it was only a dream.

I am feeling optimistic that things will settle down except for the dreams and this distresses me. I have said this before that other have had it much worse than I have and I am lucky but the dreams...ugh..makes me hate having to go to bed. Any suggestions?

Offline DaBear

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2009, 01:34:21 AM »
Ok..just checking in. Just received my first lab results since starting the Atripla. My VL is now undetectable but my CD4 count stayed the same. I am not having any side effects except for the dreams which I have been taking Ambien CR for. I am actually sort of apprehensive about not taking the ambien at night because the dreams are so severe. 

Anyways, all the anxiety I had for taking the pills initially seemed to be for nil. Hopefully things will stay this way.

Offline mecch

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Re: After being poz 11years I started Atripla
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2009, 01:39:15 AM »
Congrat on the undetectable! I hope your CD4s improve eventually.
Have you asked a psychiatrist or doctor about the best sleeping pill that might help with the dreams??
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx


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