November 5, 2013

November 5, 2013

Reduced Dose of Sustiva Succeeds

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Tuesday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. It is another busy week for the Dab Bears and me.

Since the mid 90s, we have had medications that really work in help people living with HIV stay alive. But when they were first released some were given in what now would be considered toxic levels.

Luckily with the passing of time, researchers and doctors have figured out how to keep HIV viral load suppressed in the body with less toxic dosages.

Sustiva (efavirenz) is both safe and no less effective at fighting HIV when the standard dose is reduced by a third. Researchers conducted a global study of 630 HIV-positive participants who started their first antiretroviral regimen with either 600 or 400 milligrams of Sustiva plus Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine), which are the components of Atripla.

After 48 weeks of treatment, 94 percent of those on the cut dose and 92 percent of those on the standard dose achieved a suppressed viral load—essentially equivalent results.

While reducing the Sustiva dose didn’t affect the number of adverse side effects or improve the drug’s tolerability, fewer people stopped treatment because of central nervous system reactions in the lower-dose group.

According to the study’s lead author, Rebekah Puls, PhD, of the University of New South Wales in Australia, the dose reduction translates to a savings of $20 per year per person in poorer nations.

Considering a new global push to greatly increase HIV treatment worldwide, Puls reflects, “That’s a huge savings. That’s literally millions and millions of dollars.”

The best part of this is that at lower dosages hopefully the medications keeping us alive won't be killing us at the same time.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Tuesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab