AIDS testing, if you tested positive, you will need additional
information on AIDS and HIV. Below is information on the most commonly
used drugs in the treatment of AIDS and HIV.
NOTE: The following information on drugs is
not to be considered a total compilation of all the different types of
approved and experimental drugs available for AIDS - HIV treatment.
This listing only represents the most commonly used drugs and is
categorized for easier use. Also, these drugs are listed as common
treatments and therapies, and are provided strictly for your general
information. Since each individual person displays a completely
different set of signs and symptoms, the therapies and medications will
vary accordingly. Your doctor is the best source for information with
regard to medications that are most suitable for each individual AIDS
Other drugs used to
At this time, AIDS cannot be cured. Only
symptomatic treatment is available for the infections and other
complications caused by HIV infection.
Drugs used in the treatment
of HIV virus
Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors attack the
HIV Virus by interfering in the HIV's DNA, thus preventing the virus
This drug is used and usually started in
the early stages of HIV. It is used in patients who have a CD4 count of
500 or below. It initially was administered once a patient was
diagnosed as HIV positive, but recent evidence suggests that it may be
better to wait until the CD4 count is 500 or below because
antiretrovirals tend to lose effectiveness over time. This is due to
the HIV viruses' ability to mutate and no longer be affected by the
Uses: HIV and Toxoplasmosis
Nausea, headaches, neutropenia,
myalgias, muscle wasting and weakness, and myopathy after long-term
Didanosine (ddI, Videx)
Description: Also used in the treatment of HIV, with a similar mode
of action as that of AZT.
Painful neuropathy especially in the
feet, diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and rash.
Zalcitabine (ddC, HIVid)
Also attacks the HIV virus and has been
shown to be more effective when used in combination with Ziduvidine.
Painful peripheral neuropathy especially
in the feet, bone marrow suppression, and pancreas.
Stavudine (D4T, Zerit)
Description: Approved in 1994 for people with advanced stages of HIV
infection who are intolerant to other antiretrovirals.
Painful peripheral neuropathy is the
most common side effect of D4T.
in the Treatment of Opportunistic Infections
Applied topically, with minimal side
Uses: Oral Thrush.
Description: Impairs the synthesis of ergosterol, an important step
in the synthesis of the cell wall of the fungus. This makes the fungus
unable to reproduce.
Diarrhea, dizziness, rash, liver
necrosis, gynocomastia, and breast pain.
Inhibits an important enzyme in the
fungal cell wall, thus damaging it.
Uses: Cryptococcosis, Candidiasis, and Candidal Thrush.
Side Effects: Nausea, vomiting, headache, and rash.
Disrupts the fungal cell wall.
Uses: Intestinal Candidia and Thrush. Side Effects: Very few
side effects; relatively safe.
Disrupts the fungal cell wall; has the
most serious side effects.
Uses: Systemic fungal infections, fungal meningitis. Used in
Nausea, headache, fever, chills,
thrombophlebitis, liver toxicity, cardiotoxicity, and anemia.
It is unknown how it works.
Uses: Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia PCP Side Effects: If
administered by inhalation, side effects are minimal. If given IV,
hypotension may result.
Unknown for treating Pneumocystis.
Uses: Used in patients who cannot tolerate TMP/SMX or Dapsone.
Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and rash.
Inhibits binding of proteins responsible
for making proteins in bacteria.
Uses: Mycobacterium Avium Intracellulare (MAC)
Description: Same as Clarithromycin.
Uses: It is used like Clarithromycin, for Mycobacterium
Avium-Intercellulare Complex (MAC)
in the Treatment of Tuberculosis
Description: Prevents the formation of the cell wall of mycobacterium
Uses: Treatment of TB.
Peripheral neuropathy, hepatitis, liver
Stops bacteria from producing RNA.
Uses: TB and Mycobacterium Avium-Intercellulare Complex
Urine and sweat secretions, flu-like
symptoms, and hepatitis (more common in alcoholics).
Description: Inhibits formation of cell wall
Uses: TB and Mycobacterium Avium-Intercellulare Complex (MAC)
Side Effects: Loss of central vision.
Description: Useful in Rifampin resistant strains of TB.
Uses: TB resistant therapy
Side Effects: Like Rifampin
(TMP/Sulfa, Bactrim, Septra)
Inhibits synthesis of Pneumocystis.
Uses: Used to treat PCP and also used as prophalyxis against
Itching, rash, nausea, vomiting fever,
thrombocytopenia, tremors, and kidney toxicity.
Reduces lesions caused by toxoplasmosis
Uses: Toxoplasmosis used along with Pyrimethamine.
Side Effects: Anorexia, diarrhea, peripheral neuropathy, nausea, and
Uses: Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia along with Clindamycin.
Nausea and vomiting, bone marrow
Interferes with mRNA synthesis of
Uses: Mycobacterium Avium-Intracellulare Complex (MAC)
Side Effects: Liver toxicity and ototoxicity.
Description: Incorporates into viral DNA and ceases production of
Uses: Herpes Simplex, Variclla-Zoster Virus, Epstein-Barr
Virus, and Oral Hairy Leukoplakia.
Diarrhea, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Inhibits DNA production in cells
Uses: Treatment of Kaposi's Sacoma
Oral lesions, and bone marrow
Enoxin, Lomefloxacin, and Norfloxacin
Interfere with DNA synthesis
Uses: Treatment of Mycobacterium-Avium-Intracellulare (MAC).
Side Effects: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and
Used to Treat Various Conditions Due To HIV Infection
Antidiarrheal given by injection
Uses: Used in patients with excessive diarrhea
Abdominal cramping and pain, nausea and
vomiting, and loose stools.
Uses: Diarrhea, less severe, and can be taken orally
Side Effects: Abdominal pain, dry mouth.
Folinic Acid (Leucovorin)
Used in conjunction with drugs that
deplete folic acid
Uses: Keeps folic acid drugs from causing toxic effects. Used
Side Effects: Allergic sensitization
Synthetic marijuana, used to stimulate
Uses: Used in patients who are experiencing the wasting
syndrome, and to treat excessive nausea and vomiting.
Side Effects: Mental status changes, dizziness, headache, and
Megesterol Acetate (Megace)
Description: Progesterone derivative
Uses: Appetite Stimulant
Side Effects: Headache, nausea and vomiting, back and abdominal pain,
and breast tenderness.