Good news.... and bad news. (Treatment News).
Fourteen cases of "ascending neuromuscular weakness" in HIV-infected individuals (5 of whom died) prompted Bristol-Myers Squibb, the company that makes ddl (Videx) and d4T (Zerit), to issue a special notice to doctors. The neuromuscular weakness resembles a disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome. The 14 patients were taking nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), a family of anti-HIV drugs that includes ddl, d4T, ddC (Hivid), 3TC (Epivir), AZT (Retrovir), and abacavir (Ziagen). 3TC and AZT are available in one pill called Combivir. Abacavir, AZT, and 3TC are available in one pill called Trizivir. The letter states that in most of the 14 cases, early symptoms of lactic acidosis preceded the neuromuscular problems. These symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, muscle pain or cramps, and feelings of tingling or pricking of the skin. According to the letter, muscle weakness should now be added to this list of symptoms. Severe lactic acidosis can lead to kidney or liver failure, pancreatitis, or paralysis, and is usually fatal. If drug-induced lactic acidosis is caught early, stopping the drug(s) can reverse it.
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|Publication:||HIV Treatment: ALERTS!|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2001|
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