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Author Topic: Are you taking more drugs than you need?  (Read 1828 times)

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Offline allanq

  • Member
  • Posts: 705
  • still life with pills
Are you taking more drugs than you need?
« on: November 26, 2006, 01:15:34 PM »
When my CD4's declined to the low double-digits, my doctor started me on fluconazole (to ward off fungal infections) and two antibiotics (azithromycin and ethambutol) to prevent MAC infection.

Months later, after starting a new regimen, my CD4's increased to around 250. I asked my doctor if I still needed to take the fluconazole and the antibiotics. He said that those drugs were only necessary when my CD4's were less than 50 and that I could discontinue them.

If I had not brought this subject up with my doctor, I think I would still be taking three drugs that I no longer need. I suspect that many doctors are like mine in that they rarely take a critical look at all the drugs you're taking to see if any can be eliminated.

My suggestion: At your next appointment, ask your doctor to go over all the drugs you're taking with an eye toward eliminating any that might no longer be needed. The last thing we need is to tax our systems with unnecessary drugs.

Top (Breakfast): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress, Zoloft (2), Glyburide (2), Aspirin
Bottom right (Dinner): Prezista, Norvir, Isentress
Bottom left (Bedtime): Sustiva, Trazodone (2), Lipitor, Septra (no longer taking this)
Center: Alprazolam (Xanax)
Not shown: various vitamins & supplements

Offline AlanBama

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,670
  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: Are you taking more drugs than you need?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2006, 04:36:25 PM »
Good suggestion, Allan.   At one time in my life, I was EXTREMELY over-medicated, and not with things like prophylaxis drugs, but other stuff....I was taking about 25 prescription meds at the same time, and wearing a fentanyl patch on top of it.   I think I would be dead if I had not taken charge of my own health, went to the gym and stopped all that mess.

I am not working out right now, I let my gym membership lapse due to lack of funds (they wanted $252 dollars for 6 months at the Y, and that is $252 more than I can spare).  My health has definitely suffered for it, too.   I have not had any heart problems in 5 or 6 years, until this summer when I stopped going to the gym.   Coincidence?  Maybe......

I hope to figure out something and get myself started back soon.   I know better than to let myself go like this.....

"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: Are you taking more drugs than you need?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2006, 05:11:13 PM »
Hey Allan,

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Make the BEST of each Day!

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,539
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Are you taking more drugs than you need?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2006, 06:39:07 PM »
Hi there,

One of the things that my doctor and I discuss, at each visit, are the current medications that I am taking. Other then the Hiv meds. I don't have to mention it to him, he will always ask me. If for some reason I decided I needed to go back on the Dapsone,( even for just two weeks) I would call and let him know that I am doing so. He would also give me additional advice.

When I started on treatment back in October of 2003 I had just completed a course of Prednisone. the doctor had prescribed Diflucan, azithromycin, and at that time Bactrim---which was later switched to Dapsone. Also prescribed at that time, were the HIV medications.

I couldn't wait to be able to get off much of those medications.( especially the Zithromax) The first one that I was able to stop was the Diflucan, the second one that I was able to stop was the  azithromycin, and finally, after my t-cells got up to over 200 ( and maintained) I was able to stop the Dapsone.

Yep, I don't like taking anymore medications then I need to. I hear ya !!!

Take care of yourself-------Ray

Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 20mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 9/24/2017

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 9/18/2017,  Viral load remains <40
CD 4 @358 /  CD4 % @ 13

 65 years young.

Offline poet

  • Member
  • Posts: 934
  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: Are you taking more drugs than you need?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2006, 07:04:56 PM »
Another good thread, Allan.  My old nurse pratitioner in Provincetown called me up out of the blue and said that he had read something somewhere that suggested that given the drugs I was taking, I should bump the Norvir up from 2 to 3 a day.  Since I had been taking 2 for two months and would be seeing him in a month, I decided, without telling him, that I would do a 'trial.'  I would continue with the 2 per day and see what the labs showed.  The labs showed that 2 was fine (and continue to be fine).  If I hadn't taken this step (see Allan's other post), I would be taking an extra Norvir for no reason.  I don't recommend this to someone reading this, but do put it out there for thought.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline Robert

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,658
Re: Are you taking more drugs than you need?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2006, 10:06:33 PM »
As Ray said, "One of the things that my doctor and I discuss, at each visit, are the current medications that I am taking"  My Dr and I go over all of  my prescriptions - HIV related or not - doses and frequency.  It's something that can never be assumed.

When I finally broke the 200 barrier, the first thing she did was to take me off the bactrim (for PCP), the acyclovir (for herpes), the mycelex (for thrush) and the restoril and atavan (for sleeping and nevrves etc.) 



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