Side Effects Of Arv Drugs: An Overview
Side effects of Arv drugs:Since the beginning of anti-retro-viral drugs there have been a lot of changes concerning the regime and indications/contraindications.
The whole purpose of researches on ARVs is to find the most effective but with less side effects. Most of the Arvs have side effects ranging from low to higher risk.
A clinical decision is made based on the risk assessment of the patient whether they can take certain ARV regime or not. Some side effects are more destructive than the HIV itself.
Therefore, before initiating any ARVs a clinician makes sure he has your baseline investigations to help him make a correction decision. Among the investigations liver and kidney function tests cannot be overlooked.
Here is the description of possible side effects of ARVs.
|Side effects||Description of side effect||ARV associeted with||Notes|
|Bad dreams||Strange dreams e.g flying and even cause lack of sleep||Efavirenz
|Common to new patients.
After a week or so the problem resolves. Therefore do not worry. If problem persists then see your health provider.
Efavirenz should not be taken by people who have history of mental illness.
|Nausea and vomiting||Feeling like,and vomiting||Almost all oral ARVs||Common to new patients when the gastrointestinal (GIT)system is not yet optized with the drugs. Most of oral ARVs cause because they pass through the GIT before absoption into blood stream.|
|Diarrhoa||Patients pass loose stool sfter taking these ARVs||Abacavir,
zidovudine didanosine, lopinavir,
|increased cholesterol levels||Cholesterol should be in nomal level in blood. If higher then problems like heart diseases may occur.||Lopinavir/ritonavir
|Taking these drugs requires careful dicision . not to be taken by people with history of coronary heart disease or stroke.|
|Skin rash||Rash on the body. Can involve any body part||Most of ARVs especially Niverapine that is common to children||Rash can be so severe(stevenson jonson’s syndrome)
Report to a health care provider if such is seen.
The rash starts suddenly and involve most all body parts. It can be like blisters.
|Mood swings||Change in mood. Being in deppression and anxiety at an interval.||Efavirenz
| If the problem continues visit your health care provider.
Efavirenz should not be tken with people who have history of mental illness.
|Loss of appetite||No or decreased appetite for food all of a sudden.||Zidovudine
|Especailly if patient has Tb and taking these ARVs.
Some appetite medication can be prescribed to boost pateint’s appetite
|lypodystrophy||Fat tissues accumulate or loss in some body parts creating a visible hump or a depression . E.g on the back of your neck or buttocks||Lopinavir/ritonavir
|Common with Lopinavir/ritonavir.
Cosmetically you do not look good.
|Body futigue||Feeling no power. Muscular system||Zidovudine
|Occurs especially when the drug concentration in blood reaches its pick. Drastically the feeling reduces|
|Lactic acidosis||Increaed lactic acid in blood||Didanosin||Thank God this drug is not used now unless otherwise. The effect can interfear with normal physiology of your body.|
|Organs damage||Damage to organs that deals with clearing of these drugs out of your body. Kidneys, liver especially.||Mos drugs.
| This is so serious as the body depends on liver and kidneys for excreation.
Not all p[atients should be on Tenofovir. Children and patients with liver or kidneys problem are spared from Tenofovir
|High blood sugar||People with normal blood sugar can start having high blood sugar readings.||Lopinavir/ritonavir||Not to be taken by people with Diabetes melitus.|
Side effects of Arv drugs
Your vigilance and that of a health care provider offers you with the best care on ARVs. Report any changes of strange feeling that you feel are being caused by ARVs.
Some side effects above are not common like others. Those effects involving the Gastrointestinal tract are among the commonest.
Remember ARVs are drugs and get processed by the liver and kidneys therefore, reduce alcohol consumption to prevent overload to these