Q and A


How do I know if the ARV dosage is correct when I have polycystic kidney disease?

I have been on ARVs for just over 2 months (lamivudine (3TC), zidovudine (AZT) and efavirenz). I also have polycystic kidneys and used to use 5mg hexal lisinopril blood pressure tablets daily. Since starting the ARVs I have had to increase the hexal lisinopril to 15mg daily to keep my blood pressure down.

1) I am not sure if this is the correct dosage ARVs as my clinic doctor does not seem to know much about polycystic kidney disease?

2) I still wake up every morning with slight diarrhea but no more during the day and too much saliva?

3) Every other day still feels totally sick, cannot concentrate and slightly nauseas with the most awful taste in my mouth and dry?

4) I cannot eat anything slightly acidic, or have a very uncomfortable bladder in a while. Or any yogurt or sweet stuff makes me feel sick?
Thanks a lot!


Thank you for your question.

There are no Known drug interactions noted between your ARVs and hexal lisinopril. If you are worried about the dosages of your drugs there is a test called the Theraputic Drug Monitoring (TDM) test which can be used to check you have the correct amount of drug in your blood stream.

Are you seeing a kidney specialist as well as your HIV doctor? If it is possible to see a kidney specialist then you can talk to them about the kidney disease and specific treatment for that.

Your diarrhoea and nausea should have gone after 2 months of taking your ARVs. Most side effects usually last 2-4 weeks after starting medication. You should speak to your HIV doctor about changing medication. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe tablets which will lessen the diarrhoea and the nausea.

HIV treatment is very individual and whilst some people have no side effects other people find they just can’t take some of the drugs because the side effects persist. It is important you find the correct combination for you.

For more information on Avoiding and Managing Side Effects please follow this link.


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