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Author Topic: Taking arv not like what the doctor said  (Read 5105 times)

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Offline solesurvivor

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Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« on: November 14, 2011, 07:18:18 AM »
hey guys...(sigh) I can't believe I'm finally here,since usually I'm just looking around this forum...
but well,live goes on,and I'm sure I can learn a lot of things from you all...
I'm sure we'll survive 'till the day the cure is found...

so long story short,I'm being diagnosed just a few weeks back and I'm starting to think it might be better for me to start taking arv as soon as possible,since I found some article that it may prolong lifespan,prevent cancer and such...so my question will be,that if I take the pills without food(even though some must be taken with food) will that be effecting my therapy?will it render the pills useless?or will it bring an unpleasant side effects?

sorry if I may sounds whiny,cause I travel a lot and sometimes I forgot to bring any food on the road..and I'm sure as hell that even hiv won't stop me from seeing the rest of the world...

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 07:56:16 AM »
Welcome to the forums

Have already started HAART?  If you are only at the stage of thinking about it, then one of the things you should talk about with your doctor is the different types of drugs and how they would best fit into your schedule.  Some drug combinations require coordination with eating schedules but others do not.  

Another thing to talk about with your doctor is the advantages of starting soon vs. waiting.  There are theoretical suggestions that starting as soon as possible is a good idea -- but they've not been proven by an actual study yet.  It is also not currently clear that the advantages are of significant size compared to life's other risks.  And, if you are not ready to be really good about taking the drugs when you first start, even those theoretical advantages may not be there.  

There's a lot to learn and a lot to decide when you are first diagnosed.  You might find the lessons on this site helpful as well.  Click here, or look under the "treatment" tab on the website for them.

Be well
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 wjaxon

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 07:57:02 AM »
I would advise taking with food if it says so.  They just dont have instructions so we can re-invent the wheel!
Infected Aug 2011; Dx Sept 2011; Started meds Sept 2011 VL >10 million  CD4 258.  10/2011 VL 2890 33.6% CD4 706.  11/2011  VL 1300  CD4 778

Offline solesurvivor

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 09:21:17 AM »
well I guess you got a point there assurbanipal and wjaxon...maybe I'm too naive,
but still,did everyone ever try to do such thing?I mean,it's impossible for everyone to adhere to their pills even to such detail like that,right?anyone?there must be someone who've done it once,practically speaking...

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2011, 09:43:19 AM »
I've noticed three things about food and meds.

If I take mine on an empty stomach, I get pretty uncontrollable diarrhea. This can also impact one's ability to function at work or during travel. I know, I have had periods of time when travel was simply not an option because I NEEDED to be within sprinting distance of a bathroom.

If I take the meds on a small snack (fistful of Frosted Mini Wheats, or a couple pieces of toast and a spot of cheese) this minimizes the unwanted effects.

If I take the meds on a huge meal with lots of fat, then I'm going to be in and out of the bathroom for much of the rest of the day.

Seriously, if it's too hard to get a box (or go to a vending machine) and pick up some crackers and peanut butter, then maybe your tenure with meds this early will not be in your best interest.

There is evidence to suggest that a person's FIRST experience with a med regimen tends to dictate the person's ability and willingness to try and adhere to others in the future. You (and your meds) really never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Think of the food (and like I said, doesn't have to be much or expensive) as a PART of your med regimen, not apart from it. Like using water to wash the pills down.

Being HIV positive does not, in this era, demand nearly as much from people as it did before. But trust me, it's not very forgiving when you DO NOT meet the relatively few demands of medication.

Also, prepare to say goodbye to grapefruit if you are on most HIV regimen. I miss grapefruit with the entirety of my being. But have slipped up there before, and paid the price in my gut.

As Ann is fond of saying in another forum, it really IS that simple. Just do what's required by science and recommended by your trusted doctor,  and consider it part of your regimen.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline solesurvivor

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2011, 10:01:52 AM »
hmm,indeed..thanks for the advice jkinatl,
but because of simply missing a meal before the meds,doesn't necessarily means that the virus will suddenly get resistance or  treatment failure,right?

eh,and one more thing,what if I take the pills a little late for,lets say,20 or 30 minutes?will it do harm or treatment failure?

Offline wolfter

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2011, 10:38:25 AM »
Everyone is unique and you'll discover what works for your individual needs.  I take my meds on an empty stomach because I have less issues doing it that way.  Since this might be a long term issue, experiment and see what works best for you.

Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2011, 10:38:43 AM »
Twenty or thirty minutes, or even an hour or two, is not going to make a difference, particularly once you're undetectable. The main thing is to make sure you're taking them EVERY day.

For most meds, the food issue will affect side-effects more than treatment efficiency. There are a few that are better absorbed when taken with food - you'll just have to discuss this aspect with your doctor when you decide which meds you're going to take. Until you know precisely which meds you're going to take, it is impossible to discuss what side-effects or absorption issues you're going to be dealing with.

You might want to read through the Lessons and Drugs sections of this website so you have a better idea of what's going on.

You should start with the two sections on treatment (in the Lessons) before going on to the Drug section so you can concentrate on the standard first-line treatments.
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Offline solesurvivor

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2011, 10:15:22 PM »
well thanks everyone,ann and wolfie,..I guess it wouldn't be that scary after all to take the meds,I thought it would be "on time or die" situation..then there's not much of differences like taking my vitamins everyday...
I guess I'll start as soon as possible,so my latent reservoir wouldn't get so big and keep most of my immune cells intact...
thanks for the advices,it'll be a long years with me and my pills before the cure is found...

eh,one more thing before I forgot,about lipodystrophy,as long as I didn't take D4T I'm not going to get it,right?or even if I get it,lets say,in my arms or stomach,can I reshape it by working out or something??

Offline surf18

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2011, 09:08:05 PM »
i take my meds with or without food. its just impt to take them at or around the same time within the two hour window. on sunday mornings i still have my alarm set for my usual 7 am, i get up pop my pills and supplements and go back to bed.
the food issue is the one reason i didn't switch to the new drug complera. that drug you are required to take it with a high fat meal. that was to restricting for me. and the popular atripla i believe has issues if you take with food or eat near it,that's one reason i stayed away from that one.

Offline TexasPOZ

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Re: Taking arv not like what the doctor said
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 02:24:48 AM »
I find it best for me to keep it simple, and sane, to follow the instructions I'm given. My current regimen doesn't matter whether I take with or without food, but I know that some medications are absorbed by the body better when taken with food, some without, and some don't matter. Sometimes food, or no food, helps minimize the side effects. Nevertheless, I want to take mine as recommended because I want to make sure they do their job-keep me alive. After all, that's why I take the medication, and that's what they are for. One thing I know, don't start on meds unless you are committed to taking them everyday, exactly as prescribed. This virus, unfortunately, can adapt and get around the meds if you don't, and then you get yourself really messed up.


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