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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.

There are a few reasons that your provider may suggest you change your medicines. There may be a fixed-dose combination pill that could simplify your therapy. Or your treatment may not be working well enough and you may need different medicines. Or you may have side effects that are bothering you. Or due to lab tests that show signs of ill effects from 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
  • Possible side effects of 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.