November #41 : The Bitter End - by Jeff Hoover

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Table of Contents

Organizing Inside

Concealed Weapon

Long Day's Journey

Lethal Lottery

Natural Bootleg


One for the Books

Flying Ace

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Hatch a Plan

Signs of Life

The Trouble With Norvir

Engine No. 48,000


To the Editor

None the Wiser

Tomato, Tomahto

Enter at Your Own Risk

Say What

Swim Lessons

Stigma Enigma

Daddy’s Helper

Nushawn on the Block

Privacy Parsed

Equal Protection for All

“Just Say No” to Welfare

Ms. Thurman Goes to Washington

POZ Picks

Show and Tell

The Eye in the Storm

Get Our Phil

POZarazzi: AIDS! The Musical

Verse: Amirah


One for the Books

Flying Ace

Tucker: The Man and His Dream

Hatch a Plan

Poetic License

Poetic License

The Vision Thing

Stop the World, I want to Get Off

Surviving Behind the Walls

Prick and Tell

The Bitter End

Draining the Reservoirs

Testosterone Beats Fatigue

Carnitine Boosts CD4s

Multivitamins for Moms

Bleach Works

HIV Med Line

Weight List

Do the Hustle

A Mantra a Day

Attack of the Monster Combo

Helper Cells

He Still Is What He Is

Dark Secrets

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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November 1998

The Bitter End

by Jeff Hoover

How to stomach liquid Norvir

Due to a late-July manufacturing screwup, Abbott Laboratories suspended production of Norvir (ritonavir) capsules and reverted to a widely reviled liquid form (see Gazette, page 31). With no fixed date on the horizon, Norvir takers might face a year or more of dosing with a substance whose taste has been described, charitably, as “cherry-flavored motor oil” or, bluntly, as “the worst-tasting thing ever.”

Although a spoonful of sugar supposedly makes the medicine go down, even Mary Poppins would be stymied by this task. But tips to make the liquid palatable—and prevent the reported side effect of “spontaneous vomiting”—are available. The best advice? Anesthetize the taste buds by any means necessary.

Aggressive strategies include ingesting salty foods prior to dosing, or swallowing a spoonful of chocolate syrup immediately before and after. Fickle drug-takers, especially kids, are encouraged to suck on a pre-dose popsicle.

For those who want to bypass the taste buds altogether, it’s possible to propel the liquid directly into the throat by using a specialized bottle-and-tube apparatus available in medical supply stores. A long straw, angled behind the tongue, may work. Some pharmacies also sell small plastic syringes (no needles) that can be used to squirt liquid far back into your throat. But no guarantees. Liquid Norvir’s foul—and often long-lasting—taste has prompted some to rush to their doctor for
new combinations.

Liquid Norvir should be stored between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit; it is imperative not to refrigerate it under any circumstances. For more info, call Abbott at 800.637.2400 or click to

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