Q and A


Is there an interaction between oestrogen and my HIV meds?

I am HIV positive, 39 year old women who needs to have IVF to try for a second baby. My IVF clinic knows I’m HIV positive so I’m probably worrying over nothing but I’ve had bad examples in the past where health professionals have prescribed medication that could reduce my HIV medication effectiveness.

I’ve been prescribed 2 mg Progynova (oestrogen) three times a day. I am taking Kivexa, atazanivir and ritonavir.

On the leaflet it says there may be a possible drug reaction with ritonavir. From Google it looks like it may reduce expected levels of hormones but what I really want to know is would it have any affect on my HIV medication levels?


Thanks for your question and for letting us post the information online.

The way to check for HIV drug interactions is this amazing resource run by Liverpool University: hiv-druginteractions.org

The online checker lets you select your HIV meds and the other drugs you take and get a report on any concerns. The report also give more details about whether drug levels might be higher or lower.

As you said, there is a potential concern about atazanavir/ritonavir and oestrogen (estradiol)

In this case, an interaction check shows the HIV drugs will be okay, but the oestrogen level may be a little lower.

This is a link to a full PDF report on interactions between your meds and oestrogen

The report shows estradiol for oestrogen because this is the strongest type of oestrogen. It doesn’t recommend monitoring for oestrogen levels though or needing to adjust the dose.

It is great that you wanted to check this yourself – and please share this information with your doctor.

Good luck with all your future plans :)


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