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Author Topic: Ditching the Atripla!  (Read 1282 times)

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Offline Lamek

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  • Posts: 40
Ditching the Atripla!
« on: May 05, 2019, 09:31:26 am »
Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday.

I need advise. Those of you who were on Atripla/Afavirenz/Sustiva and decided to change to something else due to the many CNS side effects, what did you change to? Did you notice any improvement?

After about two months of taking Atripla I want to change to something else. The foggy  brain and insomia is keeping me form being "functional", as I am an electronic engineer and therefore highly functioning mentally. With this constant state all I want to do is sleep...it's also challenging/risky to drive as I feel disoriented.

Even though I have not taken second blood tests, I feel physically fine otherwise. No more soaky night sweats, swollen lymph nodes etc. So the medicine is probably working. But the foggy brain is driving me nuts. 

So, tommorow I am going to see the doctor and I will tell him that I want to change. Any suggestions? He is not a specialist so I believe if take along a suggestion it might help.

Offline Expat1

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  • Posts: 300
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2019, 02:05:05 pm »
Most doctors want you undetectable before a switch.  Many doctors want you to stay on atripla (which is very strong) before making a switch for a set period of time.  My doctor wanted a year, I lasted 11 months before insisting on a switch.

My problems were moodyness and tedious dreams, wakening very much tired.

I switched out the Efavirenze for  Edurant.  Five years post switch.  Very happy with switch.

Offline harleymc

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  • Posts: 1,293
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 04:31:50 pm »
Switching from Atripla will not guarantee any improvement in symptoms.

Try tackling the poor sleep patterns with the help of your doctor before ascribing any cause.

Offline Lamek

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  • Posts: 40
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 05:20:51 am »
Thank you all for your replies.
Harleymc you were absolutely right about what you mentioned, regarding the fact that changing from Atripla won't necessarily change the way I'm feeling. I am saying this because last night I slept perfectly, in a very long time ..my mind was at peace ..no insomnia whatsoever. This is due to the fact that I have been watching videos on YouTube by "David Patient", a South Africa guy who has had given for over 30 years, and talks about several aspects on facts about HIV. That really shifted my thinking and put me at peace, mentally.

I'm starting to realise now my mental effects were just a combination of things, and I never realized that I was actually stressed. Stress an enxiety causes a series of other stuff like like short term memory loss. I thought I was losing my mind and going crazy...and it was just a chain of negative mental issues.

The night before I posted the first message in this thread I had eaten a fatty mushroom soup following taking my Atripla pill, and that's what triggered my frustration, due to the heavy side effects you can experience from taking Atripla with that

I was actually at the doctor yesterday to ask him to change me to Biktarvy, because I was really blaming everything on the Atripla. He called me last evening to tell me that I can pick up a newer drug from the pharmacy anytime this week, which is similar to Biktarvy.
Now I'm thinking I shouldve just been a little patient, since people say Atripla is a strong drug and it's like to get me undetactable quicker (if I'm not already...been two months on Atripla).

But anyway I'll find out about this new drug tomorrow and let you know. What I really don't like about Atripla is the fact that you have to take it on an empty stomach BV and all that. I would prefer something that has no limitations regarding food intake, as I can have a more relaxed schedule.

Offline wardp

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  • Posts: 147
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2019, 06:56:15 am »
Good decision to ditch your atripla the neuro side effects are real. Find a drug combo that works best for you I thought oh the side effects will go away on atripla but they don't, they creep up on you . and you hope they will go away. Good luck with your new combo.
Diagnosed 20,July 2017. Cd4 289, 21% vld .3,462 Started atripla 4 Aug 2017 5oct 2017 cd4 384 21%, vl ud less than 20. Switch to complera 4 Nov 2017 switched to stribild 15 the Nov. Switched to truvada efavirence 200mgx2 14 Dec 2017, 2 Feb 2018, us cd4  466, 25%  CD 8 ,595, 32%..1 may 2018
switched  to instgra truvada.7th june switched to truvada  nevirapine stavudine. .21 june switched to truvada nevirapine. X 2 a day...9 aug 2018 ud. 2n Nov 2018 CD 4. 455..22.70% 13th Nov switched  to lamivir and nevirapine  due to kidney issues...jan 10,2019 UD..may 13 2019 ud  cd4 482 28% 14th nov 2019 ud. Cd4 414 .27% cd8 444 29%

Offline Lamek

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2019, 09:24:42 am »
Thanks for the advise @wardp.

So my doctor prescribed me a new combination, which is not in stock at my local pharmacy. I tried others as well and they do not have it. Because I will be driving to a a different city tomorrow I will try other pharmacies there.

The regimen is called Lanograv, comprising of : DOLUTEGRAVIR 50MG, LAMIVUDINE 300MG, TENOFOVIR DISOPROXIL FUMARATE 300MG

There is barely any info about it on the internet.

I hope it will make a difference.

My biggest issue also with the Atripla is the insomia, especially during the day. I am tired but unable to sleep. Quite annoying because I cannot take a power nap to continue my work...so I am just drowsy all along.  >:(

Anyway I am hoping to see what the Lanograv has in store for me, once I get it.

Offline CaveyUK

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Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2019, 08:00:20 am »
The regimen is called Lanograv, comprising of : DOLUTEGRAVIR 50MG, LAMIVUDINE 300MG, TENOFOVIR DISOPROXIL FUMARATE 300MG

There is barely any info about it on the internet.


Thats very similar to the combo of Tivicay (Dolutegravir) & Truvada (Tenofovir), only the 3rd drug is diffrefrnt bring Lamivudine (3TC) instead of FTC, but my understanding is they are extremely similar.

It's a very modern, common combo so you shouldn't have any issues (it's the combo I'm on), but as always if you do experience any problems then please report these to your. doctor as everyone is different at the end of the day.
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Offline Lamek

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  • Posts: 40
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2019, 09:13:24 am »
Thanks CaveyUK

I really cant wait to change.

I'm having a serious mental "block". It's so hard to function. I do not have a feel of what time it is unless I look at the clock and I'm like 'Oh shit it's almost evening already, and I haven't done much'.  :o

These CNS cognitive effects are very upsetting...it is as if I am not living. I feel 'drunk-like' and cannot study...the thinking is distorted.

Has anyone else felt like this?

I could tolerate physical side effects like a rash, but when you can't think clearly it is very upsetting and scary...scared to lose my job. I am slo thinking that it beocomes worse when I had taken sleeping pills the previous night (I dont know the brand), probably because they are quite strong and have their own side effects.

Physically I am doing excellent...it's just the mental "fog"/ confusion that's killing me, as well as extreme mood changes. It is surely the Atripla.

Offline Jackmydin

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  • Posts: 65
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2019, 07:03:32 am »
Hi Lamek,

I hope you are doing well and able to switch to other drug combination ASAP. I'm on atripla for almost 2 years now, the mind fog and drowsiness is damn true AFAIK. However, I noticed the effect can be lessened by not eat or drink much for the first 2 hours after medication. What time do you usually take your meds? Mine is set to 10pm so most the time when the mind block hit me I would be on bed already. My specialist told me the food in my tummy will just make the effects stronger. Probably when your body are releasing certain chemical and metabolism to digest food, it kinda enhance the drug effect in your blood stream. Anyway, glad to hear you manage to switch to a new drug.

Take good care man.

Offline Lamek

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2019, 11:40:00 am »
Thanks for your feedback man.

Yes I have noticed that the effects are slightly worse if I take it with food. I normally take it at 9:30 am.

You stayed on this regimen for two years?? Wow. I cannot imagine handling all the pre-arrangemets that it requires when it comes to food. Imagine being invited for dinner, but now you can't eat the food cos you have to take the damn drug very soon. Damn 😅. I'd rather go for drugs that are not strict on food.

I'm yet to take my new regimen tomorrow for the first time. I just feel like "there are many options, why should I constrain myself to Atripla when I'm not able to function, talk about sleeping?"

The issue with me is that even the morning my brain remains foggy. I constantly feel like a dizzy zombie. This only improves around evening when I'm about to take my next pill...so it's just an endless cycle.

But I also think I have not been very obedient with the food requirements...it's just so hard to keep up. And I'm constantly hungry...so I have to eat. Else I will lose weight.

My energy levels are back to normal now after two months on Atripla, so I'm probably undetectable now. The only thing that is keeping me from functioning is the foggy mind.


Offline Lamek

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
Re: Ditching the Atripla!
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2019, 11:51:34 am »
Actually they say when the say you have to take it on an empty stomach that means two hours without eating BEFORE, and then two hours without food AFTER. So if I take it at 9:30, that means from 7:30 to 11:30 NO FOOD! That's just not practicable. I will get too thin!!

Unless I only go to sleep midnight after I have eaten. Which will then mean that I will have had only a few hours of sleep the next day.

 


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