This page is part of Pocket ART, an easy guide to HIV treatment.
Keeping a side effect diary for a few weeks can help in many ways.
- It can show a pattern to the symptoms that you otherwise were not aware off.
- It might show more accurately how the symptoms are affecting your life. This might be better or worse than your thought.
- It can show whether things you do have any benefit. For example starting a treatment for the side effect or switching to a different drug or combination.
- It can help you when talking to your doctor.
- It can help your doctor – and will emphasise how important this is..
The diary can be as brief or as detailed as you want.
It should include details about the following factors for each entry.
- When the symptoms occurred: the day and approximate time.
- How long the symptoms lasted.
- How severe were the symptoms on a scale of 1 to 5. (1 = mild and 5 = severe)
- How the symptoms affect your life in everyday terms.
- For example, if you are not sleeping well, how does this affect you the next day?
- If you have diarrhoea that is not well managed, does this stop you going to the cinema, or seeing friends in the pub.
- If you are feeling depressed or worried, how does this affect your life?
These links included more detailed information and a link to a printable diary.
- How side effects are graded
- How to talk to your doctor about side effects
- Print a side effects diary