A new regimen for the first line anti-retroviral therapy (ART) treatment, known as TLE400 brings relief to people living with HIV as it harbours less side-effects as compared to previous regimes.
Zimbabwe has been using TLE600 (which contains 600mg Efavirenz) which has serious side-effects which include dizziness, insomnia, unusual dreams, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, headache, tired feeling, spinning sensation, muscle/joint pain and changes in the shape or location of body fat among others. The new regimen is taken once a day as a single pill and has been recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The director of the Aids and TB unit in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Owen Mugurungi, said TLE400 improves adherence.“Since TLE400 has been introduced locally and through surveillances done, we have realised that it promotes adherence and tolerance from a patient perspective,” he said.“Studies done on the new drug have proven that it’s as efficacious as the TLE600, but with fewer side-effects.”
However, pregnant women and people with a HIV-Tuberculosis co-infection will continue being administered TLE600. “Doctors who have already initiated patients on the drug advise improved clinical outcomes in the few months that the patients have been taking the TLE400,” concurred New Avakash International product manager, Mr Kudakwashe Chapfika.
Mr Chapfika added that the new drug provides a more-cost effective option in comparison to TLE600.
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