Additive toxicity

Combinations of drugs may result in greater toxicity than would be seen with single drugs. For example, either AZT or ganciclovir (Cymevene) used on its own has a suppressive effect on the bone marrow that decreases its ability to form red and white blood cells and platelets. If these drugs are taken at the same time, the toxic effects on the bone marrow are increased and anaemia or neutropenia may develop.

Other drugs that can cause serious bone marrow inhibition when taken with AZT include cotrimoxazole (Bactrim / Septrin), interferon, dapsone, pyrimethamine (Daraprim), pentamidine, and cytotoxic chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin (Caelyx / Myocet).

Pancreatitis can occur with ddI and ddC (zalcitabine, Hivid) and alcohol use increases this risk.

The other notable additive toxicity in persons with HIV is peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy is most often associated with the NRTIs, notably ddI, ddC, and d4T. When used together, the likelihood of peripheral neuropathy occurring is greater so the combined use of these agents is generally contraindicated.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.