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4CPS-120 Adverse effects of antiretrovirals: Experience of patients. «Talk about it to better manage it»
  1. M Guerfali,
  2. I Fadhel,
  3. E Ferchichi
  1. Uhc la Rabta, Pharmacy Department, Tunis, Tunisia


Background and Importance Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are used in the treatment and prevention of HIV infection, they have improved the prognosis of the disease.1

However, ARVs expose to many adverse effects, which can compromise the quality of life and vital prognosis.2

Aim and Objectives The aim of this study is to evaluate the frequency and intensity of the adverse effects of ARVs observed with PLHIV (people living with the human immunodeficiency virus) and the action to be taken in order to reduce these effects.

Material and Methods It is a prospective study conducted over a period of 3 months on 40 patients consulting for HIV in the infectious disease department.

Data collection was done using a questionnaire: a collection sheet with 2 sections:

  • the frequency and intensity of adverse effects of ARVs

  • what to do to reduce the adverse effects of their antiretroviral treatment.

The data collected was entered into a database (Excel 2007).

Results The sample is composed of 45% (n=18) women and 55% (n=22) men.

The main adverse effects of ARVs observed with PLHIV are dizziness with a frequency of (F=92%) and intensity (I=85%), diarrhoea (F=80%, I=75%), headache (F= 78%, I= 69%), sleep disorders and skin problems.

52.5% of patients are uninformed on how to reduce side effects.

40% stopped their treatment due to adverse effects, 50% chose the self-medication and others consulted specialist doctors because, for them, certain effects are not considered as warning signs.

Only 10% of patients feel that side effects are well managed, whereas a remarkable percentage of 77.5% are ‘without opinion’.

Conclusion and Relevance Most PLHIV do not talk about their side effects to their doctor or pharmacist despite their high frequency and intensity. It is urgent to strengthen and improve information to patient on the management of adverse effects and especially to pass from information to therapeutic education.


  1. Diouf L.M. Effets secondaires et complications lies aux traitements ARV in Access to care 13th ICASA-NAIROBI Septembre 24th-26th2003 : [A54220];p 132.

  2. ASSAL JP – Traitement des maladies de longue durée : de la phase aiguë au stade de la chronicité. Une autre gestion de la maladie, un autre processus de prise en charge. Encycl Méd Chir, Thérapeutique, 25-05-A-10, 18 pages

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest

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