Nukes Nucleoside Or Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
When the virus enters your immune cells, it makes copies of its own DNA. This DNA tricks your cells into making more copies of the virus, which go on to infect more of your cells. NRTIs stop the virus from taking the first step of copying its DNA.
The first treatment the physician prescribed Traylor was a combination of multiple NRTIs. She had been pregnant when she was diagnosed, so it wasnt clear right away if her nausea and fatigue were due to pregnancy or the medication. After she gave birth, her symptoms continued, and she says, I begged to take me off of it.
Drugs in This Class:
- Blood problems like anemia, which causes fatigue or decreases in white or red blood cells
- Lactic acidosis, a dangerous buildup of lactic acid
- Nerve problems
- Thinning bones
What you can do:
A multivitamin with iron can reduce your risk of anemia, but other blood issues may require prescription medications. A variety oflifestyle changes and supplements, ranging from guided meditations to taking melatonin, may help you sleep.
Another condition, lactic acidosis can be life-threatening. If you experience an upset stomach and vomiting, extreme exhaustion or unusual shortness of breath, see a doctor right away.
Daily Pattern To Side
There can be a daily pattern to side-effects, linked to the time you take your medicines and also to the processing of the drug by your body. It might be possible to minimise the inconvenience that this causes by adjusting the time at which you take your medicines. For example, efavirenz can cause dizziness and other psychological side-effects. Many people overcome these by taking their daily dose of the drug just before going to bed.
“Your doctor can usually do something about side-effects, so it makes good sense to mention any that youre experiencing.
What Types Of Antiretrovirals Might I Be Prescribed
Types of antiretrovirals include:
- integrase inhibitors
- entry inhibitors
If you have HIV, youll usually be prescribed a few different antiretrovirals at the same time at least 3 medicines from at least 2 of the 5 classes. This is known as combination therapy. Some HIV medications are single pills that combine more than one medicine. Sometimes you might be given 1 or 2 different pills, but these can actually be 3 different medicines.
As well as antiretrovirals, your treatment can include medicines to guard against infections, as your immune system may no longer be able to fight them.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Nrtis
D4T can damage nerves and cause peripheral neuropathy, a neurological condition with numbness and/or tingling of the feet and hands, and inflammation of the pancreas that causes nausea, vomiting, and mid/upper abdominal pain.
DDI also causes pancreatitis and, to a lesser extent, peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can become permanent and painful, and pancreatitis can be life-threatening if therapy is not discontinued. The drug ddC also is associated with peripheral neuropathy, as well as oral ulcers.
TDF is generally well tolerated although there may be rare kidney damage and may have a greater impact on reducing bone density than other agents. Both of these problems appear to be attenuated with the new formulation of tenofovir called TAF.
FTC is also well tolerated except for the occasional development of hyperpigmentation, most often on the palms and soles. This hyperpigmentation occurs more frequently in people of color.
Hiv Is An Infection That Can Lead To Aids
When HIV is left untreated, it can wreak havoc on a persons immune system. As this happens, the body is less able to fight off infections. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which means the immune system has been made less effective by HIV. When this happens, a person is considered to have an acquired immune deficiency or AIDS.
Its important to note that you cannot have AIDS without being infected with HIV. But people can, and do, live long lives with HIV and never develop AIDS.Once you have HIV, the virus stays in your body for life. Theres no cure for HIV, but medicines can help you stay healthy. HIV medicine lowers or even stops your chances of spreading the virus to other people. When your viral load is undetectable or you can no longer detect the virus in your body, you cant pass HIV to your partner.
Thats why treatment is so necessary. With the proper care and medication, people with HIV can live long and healthy lives. Find a provider near you today.
How Is Hiv Transmitted
HIV is not passed on easily from one person to another. The virus does not spread through the air like cold and flu viruses.
HIV lives in the blood and in some body fluids. To get HIV, one of these fluids from someone with HIV has to get into your blood.
The body fluids that contain enough HIV to infect someone are:
- people who have had unprotected sex with somebody who has injected drugs
- people who have caught another sexually transmitted infection
- people who have received a blood transfusion while in Africa, eastern Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Asia or central and southern America
Understanding Hiv Drug Resistance
A change in medications to avoid certain side effects isnt always the best solution, Dr. Grinspoon says. In HIV, you can develop resistance to therapeutics if you keep switching therapies, he explains.
Per HIVinfo.NIH.org, drug resistance in HIV typically occurs when the virus has the opportunity to mutate and multiply, and a medicine that was previously working no longer does what it should. The risk of drug resistance increases when you dont take an HIV medication exactly as directed, or you skip doses, start and stop using ART, or switch medications often.
If an HIV treatment plan that was once effective no longer seems to be, tell your doctor. Blood tests can identify drug resistance and help determine other effective HIV treatment options for you.
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Basic Info About Prep Medication Side Effects
Like any other medicine, PrEP drugs could have an adverse reaction on its users. People have different body systems and thus, somebody systems may react temporarily to the drug. The reactions may be very mild or severe .
Potential side effects that may result from the use of PrEP meds are usually short-lived and are noticed during the first two weeks of commencing the procedure. These side effects are not permanent and often fade away once the users body system adjusts to the pill. Clinical trials reveal that the major side effect observed by users was nausea. Only a tiny fraction of users who experienced side effects found them severe/ crucial enough to stop taking the drug.
Side effects that may result from PrEP could either be short-term or long-term. However, cases of long-term side effects do not occur frequently.
It is important to note that only a small percentage of users of the PrEP pills often experience short-term side effects and an even smaller percentage experience the long-term effects. Similarly, the side effects of PrEP medications do not usually have any physical manifestation.
How Can You Tell If You Have Hiv
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. You cant rely on symptoms to tell whether you have HIV.
Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information so you can take steps to keep yourself and your partner healthy:
- If you test positive, you can take medicine to treat HIV. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex. An undetectable viral load is a level of HIV in the blood so low that it cant be detected in a standard lab test.
- If you test negative, you have more HIV prevention tools available today than ever before, like pre-exposure prophylaxis , medicine people at risk for HIV take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use, and post-exposure prophylaxis , HIV medicine taken within 72 hours after a possible exposure to prevent the virus from taking hold.
- If you are pregnant, you should be tested for HIV so that you can begin treatment if you’re HIV-positive. If you have HIV and take HIV medicine as prescribed throughout your pregnancy and childbirth and give HIV medicine to your baby for 4 to 6 weeks after giving birth, your risk of transmitting HIV to your baby can be less than 1%. HIV medicine will protect your own health as well.
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Hiv Effects On The Circulatory System
Several things make your chances of heart-related problems go up. Because HIV affects your immune system, your body will be inflamed as it tries to fight the infection, like itâs on a constant simmer. This kind of inflammation has been linked to heart disease.
Some drugs you take for HIV can also make heart disease more likely. They can cause insulin resistance, which makes you more likely to get diabetes, and problems breaking down fats. Diabetes, in turn, raises your risk of heart disease. You might need medicines to control your blood sugar and cholesterol.
If you smoke, quit. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, plenty of whole grains, and foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Choose lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products. Exercise, like taking a brisk walk, for 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week.
If you’re carrying extra weight, losing as little as 5 or 10 pounds could make a big difference.
Strategies And Situations Which Helped To Normalise Taking Art And Retention In Care
PLHIV who were retained on ART reported taking their medication daily, attending clinic appointments and taking care to eat as well as possible. Many took ART after their evening meal and immediately prior to going to bed to mitigate frequently reported feelings of dizziness or weakness. Those who took their medication daily often described themselves as being well, with many aware of their CD4 counts or at the very least the utility of the measure, and some choosing to use this as a proxy measure of their health status.
Food insecurity remained an influential factor affecting retention on ART, with many reporting challenges in securing adequate food to maintain them while on drugs. Those who were unable to eat sufficient amounts reported that the dizziness intensified, forcing them to take the drugs just prior to sleeping. For many, this dizziness persisted even in the morning, with one woman explaining how in the morning she could still smell the drugs if she had not been able to eat.
when I haven’t eaten something in the morning around 09:00 after taking the medicine , my whole body stinks due to strength of the medicine I need to eat food.
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Hiv Effects On The Kidneys
High blood pressure and diabetes are both related to HIV, and both are major causes of kidney disease. The healthy diet and exercise habits that are good for your heart will help keep your blood pressure and blood sugar under control. That helps protect your kidneys, too.
Some HIV medications can damage your kidneys. If you already have kidney problems, your doctor may want to avoid those drugs or keep a close eye on their effects.
Your doctor will need to check your kidneys regularly because you might not notice the signs of kidney disease.
Central Nervous System Effects
Some ARVs affect the central nervous system , which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. CNS effects can include a wide range of functions, including:
- The ability to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel different sensations
- The ability to think, reason, speak, and form memories
- Voluntary and involuntary functions, such as movement, balance, coordination, as well as regulating the actions of most other body systems, such as blood flow and blood pressure
Though CNS effects are more closely associated with certain older ARVs, mainly Sustiva, they are also presentthough to a lesser degreewith non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors like Edurant and Viramune.
Newer integrase inhibitors can also cause CNS effects. Possible ARV-induced CNS effects include:
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Mild Side Effects Of Hiv Treatment
When starting HIV treatment, there may be some milder side effects that can last a couple of weeks and then resolve as your body adjusts to the medication. You can manage these short-term side effects with a few self-care steps:
- Fatigue. Try to schedule extra rest, and if needed when fatigue sets in, temporarily scale back on strenuous workouts.
- Nausea. Eating smaller meals and limiting spicy foods may help. Try to avoid being around overpowering cooking aromas.
- Diarrhea. Be sure to drink plenty of water and other healthy beverages to replace lost fluids. Try cutting back on raw foods and whole grains as well as spicy dishes. Focus on bland food until you feel better.
- Rash. Skip scented body products and try to wear only natural, soft fibers like cotton and linen.
Other temporary side effects may include headache, fever, muscle pain, and dizziness. Ask your doctor if over-the-counter pain relievers are safe to take to help relieve these minor side effects.
However, be aware that sometimes side effects that seem mild like a rash, fever, or nausea may be a sign of a more serious medical problem that needs treatment. When starting a new HIV medication, be sure to ask your doctor how long you should wait for mild side effects to subside before seeking medical attention.
Also note that any allergic reaction to your medications like swelling on your face or around the eyes, lips, or tongue may be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Adherence To A Treatment Plan
Antiretroviral drugs must be taken at the right time and in the right way for them to work properly. Taking these medications the way a healthcare professional has prescribed is called adherence.
Sticking to a treatment plan isnt always easy. Antiretroviral drugs can cause side effects that can be severe enough to make some people stop taking them.
But if a person with HIV skips doses of these drugs, the virus can start copying itself in their body again. This could cause HIV to become resistant to the drugs. If that happens, the drug will no longer work, and that person will be left with fewer options to treat their HIV.
Read on to learn more about antiretroviral drug side effects, and how to manage them and stick to a treatment plan.
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Stages Of Hiv Infection
About a month after you get HIV, you might feel like you have the flu. This is the first stage, called primary or acute HIV infection. Symptoms include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
The next stage is called clinical latency, or chronic infection. You might have no symptoms, or only mild ones, for 10 years or more.
Without treatment, as HIV keeps multiplying inside your body, youâll move into the third stage, which is AIDS. A person who has HIV is diagnosed with AIDS when they have fewer than 200 CD4 cells per cubic millimeter of blood or when they get whatâs called an AIDS-defining condition.
AIDS-defining conditions are certain cancers and illnesses called opportunistic infections.
What Should I Do If I Notice Side Effects
It is important to take your medicine every day. If you are having a hard time doing this, let your doctor know. If you are worried about a side effect, keep taking your medicine until you discuss your concern with your doctor. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and take a multivitamin every day.
If you have diabetes or cholesterol problems, talk to your doctor about whether you should make any changes in your diet. Your doctor will also give you medicine for these conditions. Tell your doctor at each visit all of the medicines you are taking, including herbal medicines.
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Hiv Treatment Regimens And Side Effects
There are four main types of ARV drugs recommended for initial treatment based on how they attack the HIV virus. The types are:
- Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Protease inhibitors
- Integrase strand transfer inhibitors
All of these medications may cause side effects, but the side effects are not very predictable. Some people experience more side effects than others, and some people experience no side effects. Newer ARV drugs have fewer side effects. Side effects may also be different for people taking the same drugs. In many cases, side effects get better over time. In some cases, side effects develop and worsen over time.
Current guidelines for adults and adolescents with HIV recommend starting treatment with two NRTIs, along with one INSTI, NNRTI, or a protease inhibitor. Drugs approved for use in these regimens have some common side effects:
It is important to never stop ARV drugs due to side effects. Stopping ARV therapy or skipping days of ARV can lead to drug resistance, making HIV harder to control.
Your HIV health care providers will suggest ways to manage side effects, prescribe medications to help relieve side effects, and in some cases, recommend changes to another ARV drug or regimen.