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Should you ever switch the drugs you're taking?

for Veterans and the Public

Should you ever switch the drugs you're taking?

You should never change the drug plan you're on without talking with your health care provider. This is a very important decision and one that must be made with your VA health care provider.

If you are following your drug therapy plan correctly (taking the right medicines in the right amount at the right time), but the treatment is not working well enough, your provider may consider switching your medicines.

Your provider also may want to change your medicine if you have side effects that are bothering you or if your lab tests show signs of ill effects of the HIV drugs (this is called drug toxicity).

Before changing medicines, you and your VA provider should talk about:

  • All the anti-HIV drugs you have taken before and the ones you haven't taken
  • Any drug resistance your HIV virus may have
  • The strength of the new drugs that your provider recommends
  • Side effects that may go along with the new medicines
  • How well you will be able to follow the new drug treatment plan

Always be sure to talk with your provider about any changes in your drug treatment.