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Author Topic: Sustiva works....but  (Read 8521 times)

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Offline Dboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Sustiva works....but
« on: June 02, 2006, 12:17:43 am »
...you have to work on it too!

I got the results of my first four weeks on sustiva and truvada and great news...I'm undetectable already.  Well my baseline viral load was only 10,000 when I started but we have been watching the CD4 drop over the years from 400 or so to below 280 and it was time. I have a great doctor and take an active role in my healthcare.  My doctor and I have watched these numbers go up and down but the trend was inescapable.  Great results on the drugs though.  Once a day, two tablets. 

But sustiva is a powerful drug and it does all of things that the lessons section talk about.  They are survivable and I don't want to scare anyone who is at the point of starting.  I began on a Friday night and went to work the next Monday.  I have travelled twiced for work to the left coast and survived the time change and drug taking schedule changes.  You sure do have to do some planning to make sure you take your drugs correctly. 

Here I am now one month into the drugs and sleep is still an issue.  Sometimes I fall right off to sleep, sometimes not.  My doctor was worried when she saw me last week for my usual 9am appointment and I was still half asleep.  She suggested taking the drugs earlier.  We are going to watch this for the next several weeks.

No observable problems with food or fatty foods.  Sometimes folks say that can cause tummy problems but not for me.  But then everyone is different.

My total cholesterol is fine at 180 but the trigylcerides blew up to 350.  Looks like I will try to watch the cabs to get this down.  All other blood work looks good.

I guess the bottom line is that starting treatment is not just taking the drugs but managing the taking of the drugs and their effects.  Well,  we'll see how this works.


Offline JohnOso

  • Member
  • Posts: 817
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2006, 06:17:37 am »

That's wonderful news about your undetectable status !  I have been taking Sustiva/Truvada since the beginning of February, and (knock on wood) i've had no major problems except for a very mild rash on my arms and face, which has since vanished.

The electric dream side effects seems to have worn off too in the meantime...at least I don't seem to remember too much anymore when I wake up, unlike those first few weeks of starting treatment. 

However, I can tell a big difference in the "stoned" side effects if I eat a high-fat meal right before I go to bed.  My problem is my hubby can't just run over and hug/kiss me when I get home from the hospital each night at 11:30 p.m.  Oh no -- he has to have some beef/pork/enchilada concoction waiting for me in the oven "so I don't lose weight."

Consequently, by the time I get onto the website here, my head is spinning around.  Guess it beats going down to the Medical Marijuana clinic down on the corner.

My next set of labs in August will include a lipid panel (last set a year ago, pre-HAART, was normal).  I might add that my liver transaminases were approaching 200 when I was diagnosed with AIDS in late December, but now they are back to normal on HAART (which I find simply amazing).

Take care (and take your pills),

Offline blondbeauty

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,787
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2006, 06:33:11 am »
Everything you are both telling sound quite good to me. Specially considereing that is going to be my first regime. :D
The only member in these forums approved by WINBA: World International Nail and Beauty Association.
Epstein Barr +; CMV +; Toxoplasmosis +; HIV-1 +.
Counts when starting treatment:
V.L.:80.200 copies. CD4: 25%=503
Started Sustiva-Truvada 14/August/2006
Last V.L.count (Oct 2013): Undetectable
Last CD4 count (OCT 2013): 52%= 933

Offline Duude

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  • Posts: 30
  • VANS Warped Tour Kicked ASS
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2006, 10:03:30 am »
Hi blonde,
     I started Sustiva and Truvada April 10 and my first labs taken at 1 month were good news to me.  My cd4 went from 187 to 288 and vl went from 93,000 down to 834.  So I was pleased with that.  In all honesty though, the Sustiva has caused emotional problems and sleep issues.  I sought help and take zoloft for the depression and trazodone to sleep.  I now get sleep every night yet need to work on the depression/unmotivation connection a bit more.  I just try to keep in mind it is a phase that will be worked out and that I need to stick with it.  Manage side effects the best you can and give the meds a good chance to work.

Offline Bartro

  • Member
  • Posts: 124
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2006, 10:15:52 am »
Congratulations on the great labs.  I've been taking the Truvada and Sustiva for about six weeks now.  The side effects have been minimal.  I still get really tired about an hour and a half after taking them.  I don't mind since before this I had trouble sleeping.  My labs have greatly improved.  I'm glad I started treatment.  Once you get a routine going it's not so bad.

Offline cubbybear

  • Member
  • Posts: 510
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2006, 06:52:12 pm »
I've been taking sustiva for about 8 months now, since I was diagnosed with a cd4 of 35, vl of 293000.  I undetectable within several weeks and my cd4 has increased by over 500% in that short time.  I have been very quick to blame Sustiva for my emotional issues, but in all honesty, I believe they were self generated as part of dealing with HIV and other stressors of daily life; Sustiva seemed like a good excuse though.  I do get head spins on the rare ocasion shortly after taking it, and sometimes have some funky dreams.  My mood swings, sleeplessness, depression/anger etc, I'm not so quick to blame my drugs for, I would have these even if I wasn't on Sustiva having found out I was hiv positive and had aids is enough to screw with anyone's mind.

Sustiva is a bit of a tough drug for some people, personally I hope I can stay on this orange H-Bomb for many years to come (if they haven't found a cure by then!).

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,814
  • Positive since 1985, joined forums 12/03
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2006, 08:20:14 pm »
Hello David,

 Welcome... Just to add, There was this news article just written by Tim Horn, in the "news section" in case others had missed this also. David, congrtatulations on your numbers, and continued improvement...


Sustiva-Based Regimens: No Increased Risk of Depression

By Tim Horn, Senior Writer & Editor, AIDSmeds.com

Sustiva® (efavirenz), an anti-HIV drug known to cause a number of central nervous system-related side effects, does not increase the risk of depression, according to the results of a study reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Even among HIV-positive people with a history of depression, the study authors suggest, Sustiva is no more likely to cause depression compared to protease inhibitors.

The ALIZE study, conducted by the French Agence Nationale de Recherches sur le SIDA et les Hépatites Virales (ANRS), enrolled 177 HIV-positive people who had undetectable viral loads while taking a protease inhibitor (PI)-based regimen. For 48 weeks, they were either maintained on their PI-based drug combination or switched to a regimen consisting of Sustiva, Videx® (ddI), and Emtriva® (emtricitabine).

Depressive disorders were reported in 27 patients during the 48 weeks of follow up, including 26 cases of clinical depression and four suicide attempts. Twelve (7%) of these patients were in the protease inhibitor group and 15 (8%) were in the Sustiva group. The difference between the two groups was not statistically significant, meaning that it could have been due to chance.

While more patients stopped treatment in the Sustiva group (13%) compared to those in the protease inhibitor group (3%), this was not attributed to depression; nightmares and dizziness were frequently cited reasons for stopping Sustiva.

Mirroring other studies, the researchers found that younger patients and study volunteers with a history of depression were more likely to experience a depressive disorder while in the study. However, rates of depression in the study – even among those had history of depression – were no higher in the Sustiva group.

These findings, the stuy authors conclude, indicate that Sustiva does not necessarily increase the risk of depression or suicide compared to other anti-HIV drugs, even among patients with a history of depression.


Journot V, Chene G, De Castro N, et al. Use of efavirenz is not associated with a higher risk of depressive disorders: a substudy of the randomized clinical trial ALIZE-ANRS 099. Clin Infect Dis 42: 1790-1799, 2006


Current Meds ; Viramune / Epzicom , 20 mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 7/15/20

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 July 8th,20,  Viral load remains Undetectable

CD 4 @589 /  CD4 % @ 17 %

Offline Teresa

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,755
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2006, 08:24:30 pm »
Congratulations on your results. Hubby started Sustiva and Truvada a little over a week ago. He likes it alot better than what he was on. Im hoping he has the kind of results that you all have had.

Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)

Offline LACboi

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  • Posts: 72
  • AMG member since June 2005
    • FaceBook
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2006, 04:40:29 am »
Great results. I'm glad your numbers are getting better.

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,898
  • the one and original newt
Re: Sustiva works....but
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2006, 07:18:26 am »
Just to add, There was this news article just written by Tim Horn, in the "news section" in case others had missed this also. David, congrtatulations on your numbers, and continued improvement...


Sustiva-Based Regimens: No Increased Risk of Depression (etc)

Well, an interesting study, but a useless one cos, as the study authors admit, many of the study population had depressive conditions before starting the study. But more important, it used a self-administered questionaire to determine depression, and these are notoriously unreliable (in this study twas the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD) scale, validated in 1997) If 13% switched off Sustiva because of nightmares  then by my reckoning 13% of people switched off of Sustiva because of a symptom defining of depression = disturbed sleep.

- matt
« Last Edit: June 05, 2006, 07:20:35 am by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"


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