July / August #93 : Viread, Once A Wonder Drug - by David Gelman, MD

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Publisher's Letter


Sex Ed’s Rubber Rubout

PREPing For Sex

On Me, Not Inn Me

Out Of Data


I Go Shout Plenty

Class Pictures


Time Out

Bill Me Later


Natal Attraction


Wall Of Controversy

Shades Of Gray

Give Me Fever

Bad Meds

Hot And Bothered

Pass The Scalpel—And The Bucks

Northern Exposure

Cell Low, Cell High

Pillow Talk

Neg (-) But (+) For Lipo

A New Gay Plague?

Hard Workin’ Beans

Viread, Once A Wonder Drug

It's His Party

Out Of Sight

The Truth About Cats And Dogs (& A Horse And A Bird)

Getting’ Hot In Here

The Big Bang Theory

Walk This Way

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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July / August 2003

Viread, Once A Wonder Drug

by David Gelman, MD

It fights HIV! It fights hep B! No icky side effects! Too good to be true? Duh. Just when it seemed that Viread (tenofovir), Gilead’s newish nucleotide analogue, was invincible, a smattering of reports shows it can sometimes reduce kidney function (by trashing cells in the microscopic filters). This ain’t pretty (for more on kidneys, see “Hard Workin’ Beans,” above), but it’s hardly surprising—an earlier version of the drug, adefovir, failed for this very reason. And Viread includes a warning for the kidney-impaired. Happily, the problem cases improved after stopping the drug.

Kidney risk increases if you’re a woman, underweight or have taken other kidney-bashing meds. So if you’re on Viread—or considering it—make sure your doc knows that Gilead discourages those whose serum creatinine (which indicates kidney health) tops 1.5 and whose calculated creatinine clearance is below 60. All systems go? Make sure doc checks your blood and pee regularly for healthy kidney function.  

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