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New HIV Drug Leads the Pack

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In addition to rash, which generally resolves after two weeks of continued dosing, Sustiva causes central nervous system (CNS) symptoms in more than half of patients. These symptoms can include dizziness, trouble sleeping, drowsiness, trouble concentrating, or vivid dreams and nightmares, but they usually resolve after two to four weeks. However, the drug is not recommended for psychotic patients, a few of whom have had very severe symptoms far different than the usual CNS effects. Also, women taking Sustiva must avoid pregnancy, as the drug causes birth defects in animals. The drug can be taken with or without food but not with a high-fat meal.

Vital Information:

  • Sustiva, in combination with other drugs, is a potent anti-HIV treatment.
  • The combination of Sustiva and Viracept (a protease inhibitor) works very well even in young children, and is easier to take than other anti-HIV drug combinations.
  • While less toxic than some HIV drugs for some people, Sustiva has side effects. It must never be taken by pregnant women or women who are planning on becoming pregnant.
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