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Knowng your HIV drugs and the side effects they could cause

By Admin

Added 4th November 2018 03:12 PM

For all people on ARVs, it is good practice to know the names of ARVs you are on and some of the common side effects they can cause.

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For all people on ARVs, it is good practice to know the names of ARVs you are on and some of the common side effects they can cause.

Question

Dear doctor, I was started on ARVs about six months ago but I have been struggling because I could hardly walk after taking them due to the drowsiness.

Recently my drugs were changed and one of the drugs Efavirenz was changed to Dolutegravir.

This has changed my life so much, because compared to Efavirenz, Dolutegravir is so good.

However, I have another problem, which is almost the opposite of what I was feeling in the past. I sometimes go to bed but fail to sleep. Can I take sleeping pills? William.

Answer 

Dear William, all drugs have side effects although some drugs have more of them than others.

Serious side effects make adherence to the drugs difficult. During your adherence counseling, it should have been mentioned that some people get sleep disturbance or insomnia while on Dolutegravir. 

For such people we advise them to change and take the drug in the morning instead of taking it at night when they are going to sleep.

Lack of sleep during day as you can imagine will not be a problem since you need to stay awake in order to work or carry out activities of daily living.

So, you do not need take sleeping pills but to change the time when you take Dolutegravir. 

Lastly, for all people on ARVs, it is good practice to know the names of ARVs you are on and some of the common side effects they can cause. 

However, do not be surprised if the mentioned side effects do not happen to you. This does not mean you are on a fake drug.

This happens, because not all side effects mentioned about a drug happen to all people who take it.

Vision Group has launched a month long sensitisation campaign ahead of World AIDS Day, which falls, since 1988, on December 1. The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. This year’s 30th anniversary theme is Know Your HIV Status.  #GetTested4HIV 

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