There are four major types of retroviral drugs that are used in the administration of first line treatments regimes.
Nucleoside transcriptase inhibitor disturbs the proper growth of the HIV virus by inhibiting the transmission of viral RNA to DNA. The administration of nucleosides can result to lactic acidosis and liver enlargement. Though very rare, this type of condition can lead to death. Lactic acidosis is more prevalent in women and can lead to reduced breath, belly pain, and fatigue. This is why caution should be taken when using these types of retroviral drugs, especially for patients with liver disease. Treatment with the drug should be stopped at once if any liver problem is noticed. Those who are obese also have high risk of the side effects of these types of retroviral drugs.
This was one of the earliest types of retroviral drugs approved by the FDA. It was equally the first treatment discovered for the minimization of the AIDS epidemic. When it was first introduced, it was administered alone without any additional drug. Presently, it is used along with other types of retroviral drugs such as zalcitabine, didanosine, and lamivudine. There are side effects that can be experienced with these types of retroviral drugs such as headache, nausea, and fatigue. These side effects basically disappear after few days of administering the therapy. Because AZT is largely linked with a reduction in the supply of red blood cells in the body, an extended use can result to myopathy.
These were approved in 1991 by the FDA as a therapy for AIDS. They are mostly combined with laminduvine, stavudine, or AZT. Sometimes, they are given along with hydroxyuria, an anticancer drug that reduces the side effect of didanosine. However, extreme caution should be employed when combining both medications.
The side effects are usually diarrhea and stomach upset. The use of the drug can equally lead to painful pancreatitis and neuropathy. Pancreatitis in particular can be very deadly and is more frequent for patients with advanced AIDS infection. Medication of these types of retroviral drugs should be stopped immediately when symptoms of pancreatitis is discovered.
This is equally referred to as ddc and is the third type of medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of AIDS. They are not administered alone and usually combined with AZT. The administration of these types of retroviral drugs should be stopped if there is extreme pain, tingling, or burning sensation experienced beyond bearable levels. Patients who have high risk of neuropathy are not advised to use zalcitabine.
Stavudines are not administered alone but combined with other types of retroviral drugs such as lamivudine and didanosine. Using them with AZT is strongly not advised because the two drugs counter themselves. Stavudines are equally combined with zalcitabines but their combined use should be met with caution. Common side effect of this type of drug is neuropathy. Its side effect can include stomach upsets and headaches, though in rare cases. Other types of retroviral drugs include lamivudine, abacavir, tenofovir, emtricitabine, complera, and efavirenz.