Through developments in the world of medicine, HIV and AIDS are no longer a death sentence. With ARV drugs, you can still live healthily and carry out activities like other people. A lifelong commitment to taking ARVs can prevent you from the deadly AIDS. Unfortunately, this may be difficult for some people, because there are several side effects of ARV drugs that can shake this commitment.
Side effects of short-term ARV drugs
When starting HIV treatment, you may experience a number of mild side effects that can last a few weeks while taking ARV drugs and then disappear as your body adjusts to the drug’s contents. These short-term side effects of ARV drugs can generally be overcome with self-care at home.
The following are the side effects of short-term ARV drugs in HIV treatment:
- Often nauseous and want to vomit
- Skin rash
- Muscle ache
- Tingling or numbness
- Dry mouth
Although the side effects above are generally temporary and mild, you must still be careful when experiencing fever, rash and nausea. This is because these symptoms can be a sign of a more serious condition.
When starting HIV treatment with ARV drugs, be sure to ask your doctor how long you should wait for these side effects to subside before seeking medical attention.
Recognizing HIV Rashes and Their Differences from Other Rashes
Side effects of long-term ARV drugs
Apart from short-term effects, there are several long-term side effects of ARVs, such as:
- Liver damage
- Kidney disorders
- Osteoporosis condition
- Nerve disorders
- Heart disease
- Increased levels of fat and triglycerides in the blood
- Diabetes disease
Because it causes side effects, some people may be reluctant to continue taking ARVs. However, it is important to remember, until now, taking ARVs is the only way to help you continue to be active and have a quality life.
How to deal with the side effects of ARV drugs for HIV sufferers
To date, there are more than 40 types of ARV drugs to treat HIV infection. Even though they cannot cure the disease, ARVs can reduce the number of viruses in the body and protect cells that are targeted by HIV.
As in general, ARV drugs also have some side effects, but they can still be managed. Here are ways to deal with the side effects of ARV drugs that you can try:
1. Eat more often with smaller portions
If your appetite decreases due to ARVs, try to eat more often, but with smaller portions. You can ask your doctor for advice on getting appetite-increasing supplements that do not interact with the type of ARV you are taking.
2. Exercise regularly
One of the side effects of ARV drugs is that they cause lipodystrophy. This is a medical condition characterized by changes in fat levels in the body. These changes can be in the form of a decrease or increase in fat in certain areas of the body. This condition can trigger sufferers to feel anxiety.
To overcome this, do it regularly exercise to reduce fat in your body.
3. Reduce foods that trigger diarrhea
Reduce spicy, dairy or foods that contain too much fat. You may also be able to ask a doctor for medicine to cure diarrhea caused by the side effects of ARV drugs.
4. Eat nutritious food
If you experience fatigue which may arise due to the side effects of ARVs, consume highly nutritious foods. You also have to get enough rest, and avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
5. Consume omega-3
One of the side effects of taking ARV drugs is that they can increase cholesterol and triglyceride levels. To overcome this, You can eat fish and foods rich in omega-3. Omega-3 is found in many walnuts and flax seeds.
6. Taking antidepressant medication
If you experience symptoms of anxiety disorders and symptoms of depression, after starting ARV therapy, immediately seek help from a psychiatrist. You may be recommended to undergo counseling, or get antidepressant medication, if the disorder is considered very severe.
7. Use moisturizer to treat the side effects of rashes
Rashes can be a side effect of almost all types of ARV drugs. To handle it, you can apply moisturizer or body lotion in the body every day. You may also ask about the possibility of using antihistamines to relieve the rash.
If the rash feels severe and is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing food, and blistered skin, immediately seek help from the nearest hospital. Because a rash with these symptoms can indicate another serious medical disorder.