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Author Topic: Rash problem  (Read 1520 times)

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Offline Setmefree

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Rash problem
« on: January 19, 2014, 10:34:37 PM »
I've recently just started on HIV meds. I started with truvada+prezista+norvir a week before last Christmas. I didn't have any side effects until I had a really bad rash a week after. The rash covered all over my body. Went to see my dr and was told to stop the drug immediately. Then the rash started to fade on the second day that I stopped the drug and eventually disappeared in a couple of weeks.

My dr had me switch to Atripla 10 days ago. I felt horrible during the first couple of days. I had horrible dreams the first night. And I felt lightheaded and really tired all day long at work. I also had trouble sleeping during the last week. I took the drug at bed time like 11pm. I woke up at 2am soaking wet in sweat and always had a hard time to fall asleep again. On the 3rd day, my right hand started to  feel numb.  It was getting worse on the 4th and 5th day. So I called my dr last Thursday and she had me stop taking the drug again. This morning I started to see rash again on the arms and neck. I guess it is a just delayed reaction.  It doesn't look as severe as the last time though. Is there any regimen that doesn't have the rash side effects? I don't know why my skin is just so sensitive to those drugs.

Anyways I'm going to see my dr tomorrow morning and hopefully I can switch to another regimen that my body can tolerate. Wish me luck!

Offline hivtalian

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Re: Rash problem
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 06:40:43 AM »
I'm on the same drugs truvada+prezista+norvir+isentress and after 7-10 days I got a rash, not so severe but I just showed it to my dr , she said for the moment to take an ati-hystaminic drug and wait for few days, hopefully it will disappear.

She said it can be the activation of the skin immune  made by the pills I take and not necessarily an allergic reaction...
I'll keep u posted.

Good luck!

Offline Ann

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Re: Rash problem
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 07:52:09 AM »
Hi Set, welcome to the forums.

The first combo you were on isn't really known for causing serious rashes, and by serious I mean SJS (Stevens–Johnson syndrome). It's normally a nearly side-effect-free combo, once the initial adjustment period of up to a month is over with.

If you didn't have a fever, sore throat, and/or ulcers or sores on any mucus membranes, I'm surprised your doctor was so quick to take you off the combo without first trying to manage the rash with antihistamines. Usually a rash that appears after starting a new hiv combo will go away within a week or so, once the body adjusts to the meds, and can be made tolerable until it does go away.

Ironically, one of the meds in Atripla (Sustiva) is known for causing SJS. I'm surprised that was her first choice of meds after your rash on the Prezista-based combo.

Any of the combos can cause a rash during the adjustment period, but these rashes are normally not serious, can be managed, and will abate (a pain in the ass, but certainly not life-threatening). The time to worry is if you get a fever or other problems like I mentioned above. Did you have a fever, sore throat or mucus-membrane ulcers? If not, your doctor may have taken you off the first combo a bit prematurely.

There are other once-a-day combos available, such as Stribild and Complera. You can read about the various meds in our Treatments pages.
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Offline Setmefree

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Re: Rash problem
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 10:07:38 PM »
Thanks for the responses.

Ann, I did have a fever but no sore throat or the other things that you mentioned. I went to see my dr today and she said my cd4 count (around 500) was still good. She wants to keep me off the drugs for a while until the rash completely goes away. She's considering putting me on Epzicom and trivicay. How is that regimen?

Offline xinyuan

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Re: Rash problem
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 07:17:21 PM »
I'm pushing my ID doc to try me on Tivicay/Truvada myself.

As for the rash, if you're having fevers, that's pretty bad (as per Ann).

Just a caveat. Usually, drug rashes don't suddenly appear at the level of full blown Steven Johnson syndrome (SJS) or toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). At least from oral pills. Getting stuff IV may do it more quickly. The rashes often start off mild, then worsen over the course of exposure.

If you get to SJS/TEN, that's getting close to needing hospitalization for burn treatment. So, doctors have every reason to stop the drug and to stop from getting to that point.

I make it a policy never to second guess exchanges between other patients and doctors. Unless something is glaringly wrong. It breeds unnecessary distrust.

We weren't there, and we don't know what the doctor saw and thought. That being said, one should never be discouraged from finding second opinions from other doctors.


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