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Author Topic: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?  (Read 3090 times)

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Offline discoslice

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Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« on: August 18, 2020, 06:29:10 pm »
Hey guys,

So I haven't been on meds for a couple of years, getting back on them since my numbers are declining - and my Doc thinks Biktarvy is my best bet - its a combination i have not tried before.

Last time I took meds, had some issues with side effects.  Essentially, I'd feel 'medicated' for a while after I took it - took it in the afternoon usually then the 'medicated' effects would lessen towards the night.  Ended up getting off meds since i got tired of feeling the effects after several months of trying.  Of course, I've been watching my numbers and meeting with my doc every few months.

I have a lot of friends on meds with no side effects, so I'm going to give this at least a month of use to see if the sides settle.  How long do side effects usually last with new medication for you guys? Partly wondering if some of this is psycho-somatic - such as I expect issues and therefore get them.

And, have you found it better to take your meds or Biktarvy - at a certain time? Such as in the morning? At night?

Thanks!

Offline Séan_Dublin

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 04:51:08 am »
Hey there,

I started on Biktarvy a few weeks ago and to be honest the side effects have been minimal. I take it at 10am every day and I don’t feel medicated thereafter. I used to feel medicated most of the time when I was on Tivicay and Descovy. My nurse said it’s a very clean drug. I hope you have the same experience. Let me know if you have anymore questions ?

Thanks

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2020, 03:29:54 pm »
Okay great thanks for your info! I will keep everyone posted. 

Now just trying to decide the time of day.  I usually exercise right after breakfast, so in the past i had taken my pill right after exercising - I wonder if it matters so much? Also I tend to wake up at different times so still thinking maybe afternoon might be best.

Offline virgo313

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2020, 03:55:01 pm »
Just wonder why what was your Dr advise to your decision of not taking/stopping meds? There are so many combination these days & did ur Dr ask to try out one that best suite you?
RVD Nov 2015. VL --> Log 5.32 HAART on 23/11/15
TDF+FTC+EFV / Chemo KS - 25/11/15 - 20/01/16.
CD4 - 4 (3/11/15) / VL - 225,000

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2020, 04:11:26 pm »
Virgo,

It was my choice to stop taking them.  I just got tired of feeling medicated honestly, I tried several - there were more combinations to try but I stopped.  Now, I was getting labs done regularly still and watching things.  My immune system really kept it in check pretty well for a couple of years.  But now my VL is pretty high, percentage and t-cells are dropping so really need to get back on it. 

My hope is to find something that gives no sides and will just take regularly from now on.  After charting all the medications I've taken, and the sides I had experienced, we decided Biktarvy was my best bet to try - a different combination -  so I will.

Sean, do you take yours with or without food?

Offline virgo313

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2020, 04:37:07 pm »
I hope you can tolerate with the side effect and continue without stoping again whatever the T cell numbers are. I can tell you from my personal experience this..
I feel very normal 3 months before I was diagnosed. But once I felt unwell, I lost weight, face swollen edema, KS start appearing. I does not take year/s for OI to “attack” us. Hope you do not get to this stage when you weight the “side effect” vs possible OI. Personally, I think stopping med is not good. Tks
RVD Nov 2015. VL --> Log 5.32 HAART on 23/11/15
TDF+FTC+EFV / Chemo KS - 25/11/15 - 20/01/16.
CD4 - 4 (3/11/15) / VL - 225,000

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 06:46:14 pm »
I plan to Virgo and to stay on top of things and continue use.  Definitely before things could get worse.

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2020, 07:33:42 pm »
UPDATE

This is day 13 of starting Biktarvy.  So far, it hasn't been too bad.  Around day 8 I did have an odd mental thing that reminded me of anti-depressants that I didnt like.  Felt like I was trapped by this feeling and couldn't escape, luckily the next day it was better.  I am dealing with some sinus issues.  After I take it, about 45 minutes after I feel pressure in my temple area, my teeth are now sensitive and my jaw is a bit tight. So, something in the med is irritating or doing something with the sinus area, as the teeth, temple and jaw are all connected - and i feel tingles in my nose some.  And this lasts for several hours then wanes at night (i take at 1 pm.)

Has anyone had any sinus issues related to meds before? I had a worse version of this on the last pills I took, but this is more manageable.  Last time, I couldn't wear sunglasses or put anything on my nose it was so sensitive.  I am hopeful that it will go away - my doc said most sides go away in 2-4 weeks after starting.  In the meantime, I have a natural sinus helper I got off Amazon that really eliminates all those symptoms, which is nice but would rather not have to keep taking that throughout the day.


Offline life2

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2020, 10:27:01 pm »
When I first went on Complera my head was pretty foggy for a few hours after taking it. This lasted for a few weeks. If I had to go back and do it again I would have shifted the time of day to the evening about an hour or two before going to sleep.

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2020, 12:27:03 am »
life2,

did it get better with time? I notice i feel "hung over" a bit for several hours after taking Biktarvy.  It's not awful but it's annoying.  Just started third week as I said.

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2020, 11:45:53 pm »
UPDATE:

This was day 20 of Biktarvy.  Last night I had some tingling in my forearms, calves and even toes - about 7-9 hours after I took the pill.  It made me quite anxious but calmed down after a couple of hours.  My jaw also keyed up a bit.  I had a hard time getting to sleep afterwards - also I've noticed some "heart palpitations."  Every 20 seconds or so, a bigger "thump" will happen.  Those also made it harder for me to go to sleep.

Can anyone comment on these side effects? Hoping they will go away - going to check with my doc on Monday to make sure this stuff is normal, I think it is but still its a little off-putting.

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2020, 02:22:02 am »
Have you considered anxiety or pill phobia ? These are real and valid issues you could be experiencing .

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2020, 03:32:20 pm »
I get what you are suggesting but that isn't it, at least now 23 days into it.  First week I was a little bothered by the new pills.  Talked with my PA, he said the tingles and electrical feeling isn't something he's heard of related to Biktarvy - so looking into other possibilities.   I had been using some Potassium salt a bit too much so eliminating that first.  It seems to be lessening whatever it is.

Offline harleymc

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2020, 04:31:13 am »
I take Biktarvy with my morning cuppa before heading off to work.

Haven't got time to notice if there's such a thing as a side-effect.

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2020, 09:28:11 pm »
Just started 6th week of Biktarvy. Went to cardiologist to get heart checked out, since I had tingles above the heart - things seem good.  He said the tingles don't seem to related to anything heart-based.  My numbers are good, my viral load went from about 170,000 to 30 - one less and I'd be undetectable.  And my t-cells went up from 370 to 520. So all that is good.

I'm still getting tingles.  Two days ago my left big toe tingled almost all day.  Yesterday it didn't and it's happening again now.  It's not painful but it's pretty distracting.  My right big toe has had that happen too.  Anyone else dealt with this tingle stuff? It seems to be from the Emtriva portion of the drugs in Biktarvy, from what I have researched on side effects.  I'm still sticking with it for now - if the tingles stop i would barely notice it.

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2020, 03:19:50 am »
I have terrible nerve problems in my upper thigh lateral from the hip to the knee. Drives me nuts and keeps me awake during the night.....feels numb, tingles, needles and pins and as if it's "asleep". Most likely a constricted nerve (loose pants or underwear don't alleviate). There is a minor surgical solution, but i am postponing that for the time being.
I'm on Biktarvy too, and of all the meds I've taken in the past.....Biktarvy ROCKS. I take the pill first thing in the morning with coffee...with no issues whatsoever.

Don't keep focusing on the hiv meds.....something else could be causing problems
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 03:26:39 am by Grasshopper »

Offline poztraveler2014

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2020, 09:36:03 pm »
biktarvy has been really great. it's the first all in one pill ive taken and ive not had any particular side effects.

I have had issues with my kidneys since I started on Truvada but this is probably not the case with most people.

Generally I've not had issue with it. I take it at night 10pm or so. Doesnt really make much of a difference

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2020, 03:10:10 pm »
Update:

Day 62.

So just finishing Biktarvy for over 2 months now.  And the report is: good! I now don't even really notice it at all.  My last side effects were a tight jaw and some sinus pressure.  I took a natural sinus supplement to go with it (Garden of Life- herbal immune balance sinus) and it calmed things down.  Now, I don't even need to take that sinus supplement.  It's kind of a miracle as I never thought I could take an HIV regimen without noticing it (tried several!)  The initial tingles I used to feel are gone.
 Things really changed for me about Day 50 or so. 

So, stick with Biktarvy! Whatever initial side effects I had did wear off - it took just under two months tough.

Tomorrow I get new labs done, I will report my readings here once I get them back.

 :D

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2020, 01:41:57 am »
Good to read that things are working out for you with Biktarvy.

Offline Mindless

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2020, 08:33:54 am »
Good to hear everything is settling down with Biktarvy.

Just out of curiosity, did you experience any weight gain? I’m considering switching from generic Complera but I read many complaints about huge weight gain on Biktarvy. I’m struggling with weight loss, so I’m concerned about it.


Hugs

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2020, 11:30:19 am »
Good to hear everything is settling down with Biktarvy.

Just out of curiosity, did you experience any weight gain? I’m considering switching from generic Complera but I read many complaints about huge weight gain on Biktarvy. I’m struggling with weight loss, so I’m concerned about it.


Hugs

He's only been a mere 2 months on Biktarvy.....I doubt that he's gained weight so soon. I am on Biktarvy for a couple of years now and have NOT gained in weight.

Also bear in mind that the OP has had issues with side effects with all meds in the past.....don't start making him doubt again for him to quit this pill too

Offline Mindless

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2020, 10:36:59 am »
He's only been a mere 2 months on Biktarvy.....I doubt that he's gained weight so soon. I am on Biktarvy for a couple of years now and have NOT gained in weight.

Also bear in mind that the OP has had issues with side effects with all meds in the past.....don't start making him doubt again for him to quit this pill too


Ahahah... 😂 sorry, wasn’t my intention. Besides, after having solved all the side affects, why changing now?

Ok ok, I will post my related questions somewhere else, hoping they won’t be easy to find 😉

Btw, thanks for the feedback, I’m seriously considering a switch and looking around for my alternatives

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2020, 04:24:37 pm »
UPDATE DAY 75:

First off, I have not put on extra weight due to the Biktarvy.  I still almost don't notice it, but one issue has popped up.  I am getting PVCs now, however.  (Premature Ventricular Contractions) - these are essentially extra heartbeats, bigger thumps.  I used to get them rarely but now they are somewhat regular and distracting.  I went to do cardiologist and he said they are benign - everything else looked good. I tend to get them at night more, and as I lay down.  I know they aren't bad really but they do make it feel like somethings wrong.  They stop about 2-3 hours before I take the next dose, so pretty sure it's related to one of the medications.

Anyone else have issues with these?  I am trying a thing on Amazon called "Heart Calm" - a natural supplement which can help the rhythm and reduce the PVCs, so far with no success.  I can return to the cardiologist and get on a "beta blocker" which reduces them but want to see if I can take care of this without another medication.

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2020, 04:41:59 am »
UPDATE DAY 75:

First off, I have not put on extra weight due to the Biktarvy.  I still almost don't notice it, but one issue has popped up.  I am getting PVCs now, however.  (Premature Ventricular Contractions) - these are essentially extra heartbeats, bigger thumps.  I used to get them rarely but now they are somewhat regular and distracting.  I went to do cardiologist and he said they are benign - everything else looked good. I tend to get them at night more, and as I lay down.  I know they aren't bad really but they do make it feel like somethings wrong.  They stop about 2-3 hours before I take the next dose, so pretty sure it's related to one of the medications.

Anyone else have issues with these?  I am trying a thing on Amazon called "Heart Calm" - a natural supplement which can help the rhythm and reduce the PVCs, so far with no success.  I can return to the cardiologist and get on a "beta blocker" which reduces them but want to see if I can take care of this without another medication.

You are so funny  ;D

Offline discoslice

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2020, 04:40:25 pm »
You are so funny  ;D

Why is this funny?  What a non-constructive comment. I may get off this drug now.

Offline OneTampa

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Re: Biktarvy - when to take it to minimize side effects?
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2020, 03:44:18 am »
Biktarvy didn't work well for me (muscle weakness and fatigue). Went back to prior meds and doing better.

OT
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

 


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