Q and A

Question

Can I use herbs or supplements with Atroiza?

Can I use herbal formula with Atroiza. Its ingredients are eletherococcus senticocus, ginkgo biloba, sarsaparilla, guajava, mellisa officinalis, alchemilla vulgaris, discorea villosa tincture blend: Preservative: citric acid, methyl paraben?

Answer

Hi

i-Base are always cautious to say any herbal formulas are safe. This is because there are so few studies that look at drug interactions and because the contents of herbal formulas vary so much.

The efavirenz in Atroiza has the potential to interact with many drugs, herbs and supplements. This includes ginkgo biloba in your list, which might make your HIV meds less effective. See below for a detailed explanation.

Instead, we emphasise the consistent evidence from research that HIV medicines are so good that supplements are unlikely to make any difference – other than costing you money.

HIV meds (antiretrovirals) are the only proven way to reduce viral load and increase your CD4 count. There is no evidence showing that herbs or supplements have any impact.

Liver enzymes – inducing and inhibiting

An enzyme is a type of chemical that increases a process. For example, liver enzymes are one of the ways that chemicals in drugs and supplements can be cleared from your body.

There are lots of specific liver enzymes, categorised by letter and numbers. One of the main enzymes is called CYP3A4 (used by 90% of drugs), another is CYP2B6. (CYP stand for “cytochrome P450”).

The levels of these enzymes is not constant though. Sometimes drugs (or herbs or supplements) increase or decrease the levels of different enzymes. This makes things very complication.

Efavirenz is processed by both 3A4 and 2B6 (and also UGT1A1). But it also induces (ie makes more) of these enzymes. So any other drug that uses these enzymes will be cleared more quickly from the body. This means drug levels might become too low to be active.

In a similar way, if other drugs or supplements increase 3A4 or 2B6, efavirenz will be process more quickly. If the other drugs slow down (inhibit) these enzymes, efavirenz levels will be much higher. Higher levels can cause more side effects and serious toxicity.

As examples, ritonavir and grapefruit juice inhibit both these enzymes, increasing efavirenz levels. Ginkgo biloba extracts and St. John’s wort both induce these enzymes – and reduce efavirenz levels, making your HIV medicine less effective.

14 comments

  1. Lisa Thorley

    Hi Limu,

    You’ve said that your viral load is normal, what do you mean by this?
    With regards to your boss, there shouldn’t be any need as to why you need to tell them. Who you tell is up to you.

    The only thing that can control a persons HIV is ART. Though your CD4 may still be high, it’s now recommended that everyone who is positive should be on ARVs.

  2. Limu

    Am hiv positive since 2010,but not yet on arv my cd4 is 650 and my viral load it’s normal last checked 28 June 2019,the reason am not on arv is my work can’t tell my boss that am positive,what must I take to boost my immune,to keep my self health.

  3. Roy Trevelion

    Hi Walter,

    I’m sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. But I hope you’ve already started HIV treatment (ART).

    Once you start ART your viral load will be dramatically reduced in the first few days. And this will give your CD4 count the chance to recover. Please see this page from ART in Pictures. It shows what happens to your CD4 count and viral load once ART is started.

    How is your treatment going? What meds are you taking and do you have access to your latest CD4 and viral load results? Please let us know. And also tell us if your doctor has given you antibiotics to stop other infections while your CD4 count is low.

  4. Walter

    I was diagnosed with hiv my CD was 5 ,how months does it for CD to reach 100

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