Meet the Meds
Part of HIV Medications: When to Start and What to Take
Now that you've thought about the class or classes of HIV medications you should start with, it's time to choose specific medications. Besides considering all the things we've mentioned, there's another important factor: How often will you need to take the pills?
Research has shown that it's relatively easy for most people to take pills once or twice every day without missing doses. More than that, and most people slip up. You may even decide that once a day is easier than twice a day. The upcoming chart mentions which drugs can be taken once-daily and which are twice-daily. Please note that we have included some options that are commonly used by doctors although they may not yet be in any guidelines.
Forgetful? Here Are Some Tips
- Some people find it helpful to use a small notebook to keep track of each time they take their medications.
- Others use a pillbox that they pre-fill at the beginning of each week or buy a watch with an alarm.
- Still others keep all their medications in one place, like near a toothbrush or in the kitchen, so they can remember to take them as a part of their daily routine.
- It also helps to fill your prescriptions consistently at one pharmacy. This way you can refill everything at once and not run out of certain medications. Mail-order pharmacies can offer a three-month supply and confidentiality that you may not get at your local pharmacy. If you are worried about timely refills, keep a week's supply as a backup.
|Why Do HIV Drugs Have so Many Different Names?|
Each HIV drug you read about here has several different names. Emtriva, for instance, is sometimes called FTC or emtricitabine. Why so many names for one drug? Here's the deal: