May #91 : Double Agent - by David Gelman, MD

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Children of a Lesser God

Virgin With A Vengeance

Liver and Let Live

Submission: Impossible

Now They C It

Drug Trade

Insecurity Council

Lady Buggers

Latest Battles On Latex

Knock, Knock


Leap of Faith

Sunshine Therapy

AIDS Lyrics

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It Takes Tube

Pot Shot

Show Us the Money

It Happened in May

Guru Gere“Gotcha??

Take This Mug and Stuff It

The Rub

Big Easy

Doctor Shocker!

Warts and All

On Your Feet

Brains, Not Beauty

Math Hysteria

Main Squeeze


Treat and Run

Double Agent

Unhappy Together

A Fish Called Tuna

Risk and Tell

Tell and Risk


Editor's Letter

Star Billings

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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May 2003

Double Agent

by David Gelman, MD

If the Hatfields and McCoys found some kin in common, would they lock up their shotguns? So it might go for GlaxoSmithKline’s AZT (Retrovir) and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s d4T (Zerit), longtime nuke rivals. A recent AIDS Journal study looked at the cells of folks on AZT and found significant levels of…d4T! Seems the dueling drugs have kissing-cousin chemical structures, and the body converts some of the AZT to d4T. “This would help explain the overlap in resistance between the two drugs and why there’s so much confusion around what’s involved with fat loss,” says veteran New York City HIV doc Howard Grossman, referring to recent research that fingers both drugs (but d4T more so) for lipodystrophic laments like “puppet cheeks.” Still, actual levels of d4T in the cells of the study’s AZT-takers varied widely. Could comparing high-level and low-level folks yield the next piece of the puzzle? Don’t y’all pawn your pea-shooters yet, y’hear?  

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