Sunday, June 11, 2017

HIV FAQ's answered by MD

Question: I’ve read that Stribild may cause fat redistribution, but I’ve been reassured by your blog that fat redistribution no longer occurs with modern medicines. Why do manufacturers and other websites still list fat redistribution as a possible side effect? 

Answer; By Joel Gallant, MD, MPH: It’s an FDA requirement. In a clinical trial, just about anything that happens to anyone on an experimental drug in a clinical trial gets listed as an “adverse event,” even if it’s unlikely to have been caused by the drug. For example, you may see “common cold” or “arm fracture” listed, though no one really believes there’s a connection. In the case of lipodystrophy, there are two possibilities. First, someone taking the drug may have complained of weight gain and a bigger belly—a common occurrence as people get healthier—and the doctor may have recorded it as lipodystrophy. Second, this is listed as a side effect of many antiretroviral agents just because they’re in a class of drugs that cause it, even if there’s no clear evidence linking that particular agent to the complication. In general, the package insert or prescribing information for a drug is the least helpful source of information about side effects. Better sources include Epocrates, the Johns HopkinsHIV Guide, Medscape, or the DHHS Guidelines, which tell you what the likely side effects are.