HIV Medications – Keeping AIDS In Check

The absence of a cure for HIV with medications has escalated the need to invent other drugs that can keep AIDS in check. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) targets the type of white blood cells called T helper cells that are required in the body to provide immunity against illnesses and infections. The HIV strain attaches itself to T cells and replicates its DNA into the cells to multiply fast by replicating itself. Currently, available drugs cannot eliminate the virus completely from the body but can control the virus and prevent it from multiplying. Medical experts who provide treatment for HIV infections plan the treatment according to the type of viral strain and the severity of the infection. Patients must note that taking therapy for HIV only reduces the risk of transmission of the virus and does not prevent it.

HIV Treatment Drugs

The therapy provided for HIV infection includes antiretroviral therapy or ART. The combination of HIV treatment drugs that can best fight the infection is called an HIV regimen. All HIV drugs are meant as a lifelong treatment and should be followed diligently in order to avoid developing drug resistance or drug tolerance. The drugs that are approved as treatments can be categorized based on the function that they perform in suppressing the virus. The drug classifications are as follows:

  • Protease inhibitors are antiretroviral drugs that inhibit the protease or HIV enzyme and prevent new viral cells from becoming mature and attacking other cells. Brands prescribed for this therapy include Invirase, Norvir, Lexiva, Reyataz, and Aptivus.
  • Fusion inhibitors block the HIV from fusing with host cells. The drug that is prescribed for this function is Fuzeon.
  • Integrase strand transfer inhibitors prevent the HIV from using integrase to fuse with host cells. Integrase blockers prevent HIV from multiplying. Drugs approved to perform this function are Tivicay, Vitekta, and Isentress.
  • CCR5 antagonist latches itself to the surface of immune cells and prevents HIV from entering these cells. The drug with the capacity to perform this function is Selzentry.
  • Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors or NRTIs block the reverse transcriptase enzyme that the HIV uses to convert its own RNA into DNA. Drugs approved to block HIV from replicating in this manner are Retrovir, Viread, Zerit, Epivir, Emtriva, Videx, and Ziagen.
  • Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors or NNRTIs attach themselves to the HIV enzyme reverse transcriptase and prevent it from copying itself. Drugs prescribed to block the HIV enzyme are Rescriptor, Sustiva, Intelence, Viramune, and Edurant.

Modafinil as relief from excessive uncontrollable daytime sleepiness

Constant consumption of HIV prescription medications can be caused for sleepiness during the day. Although it looks like a minor issue, this tendency of suddenly falling asleep can distract one from performing their tasks on time. So, how to fight this sleepiness? With the advent of medical sciences, now there is a solution to this problem. Individuals finding it difficult to move freely can purchase Modafinil from mail-order pharmacies to get hold of authentic drugs at a discounted price. Having the trade name Provigil, this pill knows what part of the brain controls sleep and works with those specific centers of the brain to keep its users wide awake. Modafinil 200 mg is the optimum dosage that is prescribed for most individuals showing normal health. Refrain from taking this pill if you are allergic to any ingredient in it or if you are pregnant. Provigil should be exercised with caution if you have struggled with mental problems or substance abuse in the past.

Side Effects Of HIV Medications

HIV drug can improve the quality of life but come with a few short term side effects that usually go away on their own after a few weeks of commencing therapy. They can hardly be considered as serious and are often manageable. Patients must be informed in advance about likely side effects to the drugs so that they do not stop taking the drugs. Discontinuing HIV medication prior to the doctor’s consent increases the risk of developing tolerance and for the virus to become drug resistant. To stay on the HIV regimen, patients should have the support from friends and family to get through this phase. Common side effects that a person is likely to experience include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness

These symptoms aside, persons undergoing HIV treatments are likely to display other side effects that are likely to be life-threatening and would require immediate assistance from the therapist. These side effects include swelling of the eyes, lips, tongue, and face. The adverse drug interaction can also be something unusual that the HIV infected person would not normally feel.