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Author Topic: Complera and Atripla CNS side-effects  (Read 4106 times)

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Offline wandta13

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Complera and Atripla CNS side-effects
« on: September 12, 2013, 07:30:45 PM »
First time poster here. I tested positive in May 2013 after a negative test in August of 2012.

My initial counts were: CD4: 343 and VL: 23,000.

I started Complera on 7/10/13 and began experiencing serious CNS side effects (haziness, forgetfulness, difficult with word finding, difficulty concentrating/thinking critically, headaches and dizziness).

My first set of counts on Complera- 8/28: VL: 300 CD4: 749.

I expressed concerns to my physician about the Complera side effects, and I made the switch to Atripla, which I started on 8/30. Unfortunately, while the side effects have improved moderately with Atripla, there are still residual CNS problems. Put quite simply, I feel like a zombie who is unable of thinking, processing and remembering as well as I could prior to starting medication.

Is this level of functioning something I should learn to accept, counter-medicate or continue trying to eliminate with a different med regimen? My concern arises with the fact that I will be entering a Doctoral program in Fall '14 that will demand a higher level of thinking than I believe I'm capable of with these med side effects.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Complera and Atripla CNS side-effects
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2013, 07:50:51 PM »
The backbone of both of these regimens are NNRTI class (one Sustiva, the other Eudrant) and both can have CNS issues.

I would initiate a discussion with your physician about a regimen that doesn't have an NNRTI med in it. If you are not wedded to having a single-pill regimen there are many other options. If you want another single-pill you can go with Stribild.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline scotty54

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Re: Complera and Atripla CNS side-effects
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 11:45:04 AM »
Ditto with Miss P, NNRTI's may not be tolerable for some of us.  Do not think you should accept that level of functioning.

After 6 years of Atripla, I had gradually become loopy, hazy, and wrought with terrible sleep patterns and insomnia. Switched to Complera (9/12).
Saw a little improvement, my sleeping patterns becoming a bit more regular.  Unlike your experience, Atripla was more difficult to endure than Complera. Switched to NNRTI free Stribild (5/13).  The transition has been subtle, yet substantial.
After 4 months, I am sleeping better and am more alert and focused.  Did experience some bloating issues the first 6-8 weeks, but has mostly subsided.  If you decide to switch, give it some time.

Hope it helps a bit.  Good luck with doctoral program.
I may not agree with you, but will always defend your right to disagree.

Offline wandta13

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Re: Complera and Atripla CNS side-effects
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 09:19:43 PM »
Thank you for all of the wonderful input, thus far. I am still currently on the Atripla, but my physician's nurse seems hesitant for me to make a switch at this point. I am beginning to feel it is absolutely necessary.

Beyond the general fog-like symptoms that I described earlier, I've also come to realize that I am finding very little enjoyment in much of anything. This is absurd. Yes, the diagnosis of HIV is life-altering, however, I have so much going for me and I know I do! I have a great, new partner, multiple invites to interview at doctoral programs, a supportive family/friend base and, most importantly, I am healthy! I am completely aware of all of these things, but within the dark, Atripla-produced moments, I cannot move myself to a better frame of mind.

Is Stribild or the other multi-pill regimens something that will get me out of this black cloud and back closer to my baseline? Can anyone comment on their experience of making the switch off of NNRTIs to something like Stribild?

Again, thank you for any help and advice.

Offline witch

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Re: Complera and Atripla CNS side-effects
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 11:27:07 PM »
Stribild had stimulant-like properties on me. Made me more talkative when combined with working out (unsolicited comments by people around me), unable to fall asleep and unable to reach orgasm. Stimulants cause exactly the same symptoms in me.

I switched to Complera - I sleep better but am strangely depressed, don't have energy at the gym, don't feel the usual high after working out, started skipping working out because I don't feel like it etc. It's like Complera suppresses any excitement and I am left with some apathy.

I'm thinking of switching to Protease Inhibitor combo such as Prezista.

Offline Tim Kunkel

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Re: Complera and Atripla CNS side-effects
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 03:27:40 PM »
I was recently, a of a few months ago, put on complera. And I can say with that out a doubt I also have been suffering from dizziness, horrible mood swings, etc to the point that it has affected my everyday routine. In fact I had to give up alot of my favorite activities because of these side affects.
I can't deal with them and this has happened before only much worse when they tried putting me on Issentis, which sent me spinning out of control to the point of almost a nervous breakdown.
I have an appointment with my dr tomorrow and they are getting an ear full.
When they changed me from Videx and Truvada to Complera they told me the side affects were going to be minimal, but actually just the opposite.
Once these side affects started to kick in I read and did some research on complera and found out depression was one of the side affects, along with dizziness.
I'm already being treated for depression, liver disease, diabetes, and now they have put me on this.

Offline chevyboi6953

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Re: Complera and Atripla CNS side-effects
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 06:56:35 PM »
Ive been on Atripla for 90 days now, the first night I took it was hell. I woke up feeling "high". Due to the fact I wake up at 4am, I preferred not to be on this regimen. I was infected for a round a yr unknowingly. Ive been told if I eat 2 hrs before, or 1 hr after the meds I don't have any side effects. But if I eat/drink sweets before I have that "high" feeling when I wake up and not able to drive. The nurse at my dr's office told me that being on Atripla would cause you to test positive for "pot". This is something I didn't want to have to deal with, due to the fact that if im drug tested at work I will fail. Even though the dr can give me a "generic" letter stating im on a medication that "could" be the reason for the positive test. Ive been told that Atripla is the most commonly used medicine to get T Cell count up and Viral load down quickly.


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