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An Abbreviated - Guide to HIV Drug Side Effects

 Nucleoside analogs (also called "nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors," or NRTIs, or nukes)
Potential class side effects Pancreatitis, enlarged, fatty liver and lactic acidosis.
Combivir (Retrovir and Epivir) See Epivir and Retrovir.
Emtriva (emtricitabine, FTC) A very tolerable drug, but potential side effects include headache, diarrhea, nausea and rash. Darkening of the skin on the palms and the soles of the feet.
Epivir (lamivudine, 3TC) A very tolerable drug, but potential side effects include headache, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, malaise (general ill feeling), nasal symptoms, cough, peripheral neuropathy, low white blood cells and anemia. Children note pancreatitis.
Epzicom (Epivir and Ziagen) See Epivir and Ziagen.
Hivid (zalcitabine, ddC) Peripheral neuropathy, headache, fever, skin eruptions, sores or swelling in the mouth, nausea, and pancreatitis.
Retrovir (zidovudine or ZDV, AZT) Headaches, fever, chills, muscle soreness, fatigue, nausea, fingernail discoloration, anemia, and neutropenia.
Trizivir (Epivir, Retrovir, and Ziagen) Headache, nausea, upset stomach, and fatigue. See Epivir, Retrovir, and Ziagen. Note the hypersensitivity warning on Ziagen.
Truvada (Viread and Emtriva) See Viread and Emtriva.
Videx & Videx EC (didanosine, ddI) Peripheral neuropathy, upset stomach, diarrhea, headache, pancreatitis, eye changes and optic neuritis, increased uric acid levels, and insomnia.
Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, TDF) Overall fairly well tolerated; however, individuals may experience the following: nausea, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, asthenia, flatulence, abdominal distension/pain and anorexia.
Zerit (stavudine, d4T) Peripheral neuropathy, facial wasting, mitochondrial toxicities, headache, chills/fever, malaise, insomnia, anxiety, depression, rash, upset stomach, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and blood lipid increases. Children note peripheral neuropathy.
Ziagen (abacavir sulfate, ABC) Hypersensitivity reaction, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, fever, rash, loss of appetite, high blood sugar and high triglyceride levels. Children pancreatitis.
 Non-nucleoside analogs (also called "non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors," or NNRTIs, or non-nukes)
Potential class side effects Rash.
Viramune (nevirapine, NVP) Headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and drug-induced hepatitis.
Rescriptor (delavirdine, DLV) Headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, elevated liver enzymes, itchy skin or rash.
Sustiva (efavirenz, EFV) Central nervous system (CNS) and psychiatric symptoms. Rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, insomnia and increased liver enzymes. False positive tests for use of marijuana. Birth defects.
 Protease inhibitors (PIs)
Potential class side effects Increased levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (except possibly unboosted Reyataz), lipodystrophy, onset of new cases or worsening of diabetes, and increased bleeding in hemophiliacs.
Agenerase (amprenavir) Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, taste disorders, fatigue, headache, mood disorders, anemia and rash. Agenerase is a sulfonamide, and should be used with caution in patients with allergies to sulfa drugs. Severe rash and stomach problems (pancreatitis) is rare.
Aptivus (tipranavir) Gastrointestinal-related -- mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Headaches, dry mouth, and dizziness. Also see Norvir.
Crixivan (indinavir sulfate) Headache, fatigue or weakness, malaise, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pains, loss of appetite, yellowing of skin/eyes, changed skin color, dry mouth/sore throat, taste changes, painful urination, indigestion, joint pain, hives, and liver toxicity. Itchy/dry skin, ingrown toe nails and hair loss. Kidney stones. Increased bilirubin.
Fortovase (saquinavir soft-gel) Diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, gas, indigestion, vomiting, headaches, insomnia, fatigue, body aches, anxiety, depression, and taste alteration.
Invirase (saquinavir) Stomach related -- diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and nausea.
Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) Rash, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, muscle weakness, increased cholesterol and triglycerides, and elevated AST/ALT. Also see Norvir.
Lexiva (fosamprenavir calcium) Nausea, rash, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, fatigue, mood disorders, abdominal pain, and mouth numbness. Lexiva is a sulfonamide, and should be used with caution in patients with allergies to sulfa drugs.
Norvir (ritonavir) Weakness, stomach pain, upset stomach, tingling/numbness around the mouth, hands or feet, loss of appetite, taste disturbance, weight loss, headache, dizziness, pancreatitis, and alcohol intolerance. Liver problems, increased muscle enzymes, and uric acid.
Reyataz (atazanavir sulfate) Dizziness and lightheadedness. Elevated levels of unconjugated bilirubin.
Viracept (nelfinavir) Diarrhea), stomach discomfort, nausea, gas, weakness and rash.
 Fusion inhibitor
Fuzeon (T-20, enfuvirtide) Injection site reactions (ISRs) and pneumonia. Allergic reactions are possible.

Remember that side effects may or may not occur. Some are more common than others, and individuals react differently to the same drug. A drug regimen cannot be chosen on the basis of minimal potential for side effects. If you already take HIV drugs, please discuss any changes, however minor, with your healthcare providers, including your pharmacist, since small reactions may become serious.