There are many potential side effects associated with antiviral therapies. The most common ones for each class of drug are summarized below.
Most NRTIs can cause mild nausea and loose stools. In general, these symptoms resolve with time.
ZDV has been associated with decreased production of blood cells by the bone marrow, most often causing anemia, and occasionally hyperpigmentation (most often of the nails).
D4T can damage nerves and cause peripheral neuropathy, a neurological condition with numbness and/or tingling of the feet and hands, and inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) that causes nausea, vomiting, and mid upper abdominal pain.
DDI also causes pancreatitis and, to a lesser extent, peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can become permanent and painful, and pancreatitis can be life-threatening if therapy is not discontinued. The drug ddC also is associated with peripheral neuropathy as well as oral ulcers. Continue reading