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Can one use both ARVs and herbal medicines?

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th May 2010 03:00 AM

MANY people living with HIV (PLHIV) use herbal remedies and some have reported good results. However, such people should tell their doctors when put on ARVS that they are using herbal drugs or any other drugs to avoid possible drug interactions which could be antagonistic or even fatal.

MANY people living with HIV (PLHIV) use herbal remedies and some have reported good results. However, such people should tell their doctors when put on ARVS that they are using herbal drugs or any other drugs to avoid possible drug interactions which could be antagonistic or even fatal.

Face HIV with Dr. Watiti

Dear doctor,
Is there any harm if an HIV-positive person uses both ARVs and herbal medicines at the same time? And why is an HIV-positive person with a normal CD4 count is advised to swallow Septrin tablets daily? What are the advantages of Septrin?
Deo

Dear Deo,
MANY people living with HIV (PLHIV) use herbal remedies and some have reported good results. However, such people should tell their doctors when put on ARVS that they are using herbal drugs or any other drugs to avoid possible drug interactions which could be antagonistic or even fatal.

One of the challenges we have with herbal remedies is that often, we do not know the active ingredients in the concoctions and how much one has to take for good effect.

Concerning Septrin prophylaxis, it has been found to help prevent opportunistic infections such as Toxoplasmosis which causes brain abscesses in PLHIV with low CD4 counts and others such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria.

Septrin is therefore part of what is known as the basic care package for PLHIV together with provision of insecticide treated mosquito nets, safe water vessels and good nutrition.

People who get used to taking Septrin regularly have also been found to have better adherence when started on ARVs.

Can one use both ARVs and herbal medicines?

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