November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009
Reyataz and Smoking

Thanks for stopping by to check out what is going on with another day in my life as a long term survivor of HIV and AIDS. Today is Wednesday and I hope you are having a safe and great weekend so far.

This is a very busy and stressful week for me. I am currently in Jacksonville, Florida and trying to fit a week's worth of appointments, meetings and activities into three days since I have to leave on another trip tomorrow. Unfortunately, the stress and my schedule are starting to have a negative effect on my health. My blood pressure has been running very high which is not normal and my doctor is concerned I am going to have another stroke. So I am trying to keep myself as calm as possible while running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get everything done.

I am also still having a huge problem with tendonitis in both arms which is only complicating everything. For those of you who have never had tendonitis, it severely limits the use of my arms and causes extreme pain even when I am limiting the use of them. So it is just one more thing to have to deal with right now.

Speaking of limitations, I recently read some information about a commonly used HIV medication called Reyataz. As reported recently in HIV Plus magazine, HIVers taking the protease inhibitor Reyataz might want to kick their smoking habit and stop using marijuana. These findings are according to a study presented at the 2009 Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

A two year review of HIV positive adults living in four United States cities found that tobacco and marijuana use resulted in significant reductions in Reyataz concentrations in the body; 50% of the tobacco users and 36% of marijuana users had Reyataz levels below that which effectively suppresses HIV and at which drug resistance can develop.

And the more one smoked or used pot, the lower the concentration of the protease inhibitor, according to the data. The researchers believe tobacco and marijuana may interfere with a key liver enzyme involved in the processing of Reyataz in the body.

So now there is one more reason to stop both cigarette and marijuana use. If you are unable to quit, you should speak with your health care provider about changing to a different HIV medication. But even if you are on Reyataz and smoke either substance, DO NOT stop your medication before speaking with your doctor. It can be difficult enough to keep yourself healthy while battling HIV and AIDS without complicating things.

I will be leaving early in the morning on yet another trip. So while I hope to get another blog entry done tomorrow, it may be Friday before I write another one. Just did not want you to worry if I miss an entry or two. I know some of you message me when that happens because you are concerned something has gone wrong or happened to me.

Hope you have a great and safe Thursday. Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab