Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - Long-acting injectable medications are preferred over asking a patient to take a daily pill by physicians for several reasons such as the physician being in control and making sure the patient takes his/her medicine. Physicians hesitate to recommend Truvada to their HIV positive patients or to HIV negative patients looking for pre-exposure HIV protection because of the likelihood that the patient will stop taking or forget to take the medication every day. The reason Truvada must be taken every day is that the drug must build up in the body to a certain level to be effective. If the drug falls below this level the disease may continue to progress.
Truvada used as an HIV management tool is the brand name for the combinations of two anti-HIV drugs in one pill: tenofovir (Viread) and FTC (emtricitabine). According to Catie, Canada's leading HIV online resource, Truvada inhibits HIV cell's ability to replicate themselves. "When HIV infects a cell, it takes control of that cell. HIV then forces the cell to make many more copies of the virus. To make these copies, the cell uses proteins called enzymes. When the activity of these enzymes has reduced the production of HIV slows. Both medicines inside Truvada interfere with an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which is used by HIV-infected cells to make new viruses. Since Truvada reduces the activity of reverse transcriptase, it causes HIV-infected cells to slow down or stop producing new viruses."
Last month a new drug that has undergone testing produced impressive results in solving not only the Truvada forgetfulness problem but in being more effective in slowing the progression of AIDS. Cabotegravir blocks the integrase HIV enzyme prevents HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body. According to the Dallas voice: "The injectable drug Cabotegravir appears to be 69 percent more effective than Truvada, the daily pill most commonly prescribed." Cabotegravir lasts for two months and replaces the need to remember to take a daily pill. According to Science magazine, 4,500 people participated in the study. Divided into four equal groups, each participant was randomly assigned to receive a Cabotegravir injection, a placebo injection, Truvada, or a Truvada placebo. The Truvada group received 38 new infections, while the Cabotegravir group only 12."
Another feature of Cabotrovir is that the medication could have fewer adverse side effects than Truvada. Doctors prescribing a new medication to HIV positive patients must be doubly sure that the new drug will not harm the patient with the already heavily-compromised immune system. HIV positive Truvada patients have reported developing osteoporosis, deterioration of bone density that has resulted in leg fractures, and also kidney problems. Many Truvdada patients have hired Truva bone fracture lawyers to file claims against Gilead for failing to warn them that serious health consequences could develop.
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