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Aids Treatment Drugs

Descriptions of drugs and treatments

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A
abacavir (1592U89):
Nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor similar to AZT but thought to have stronger anti-HIV effects. In early trials was able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Side effects were nausea, headache and fatigue. In studies for the treatment of HIV and HIV-related dementia.
ABELCET:
A liposomal preparation of amphotericin B. A liposome is a tiny fat bubble that may help to direct drugs to diseased tissue. May have fewer side effects. Approved for the treatment of aspergillosis and other invasive fungal infections in people who can't take standard amphotericin B.
ABT-538 (ritonavir):
See ritonavir.
ABV:
This standard cancer chemotherapy treatment combines adriamycin, bleomycin and vincristine. It is given as an injection into the vein.
acyclovir (Zovirax):
Approved for the treatment of herpes infections. Treatment is by mouth or injection. Acyclovir has few side effects. Stomach upset, headache or nausea are possible. Hair loss from prolonged use has been reported.
adefovir dipivoxil (PMEA):
A nucleotide analog. Effective against many different herpesvirus types, as well as HIV. Several studies in human beings are underway.
Adriamycin:
See doxorubicin.
aerosolized pentamidine (Nebupent, Pneumo-pent):
See pentamidine.
AG-1343 (Viracept):
See nelfinavir
albendazole:
Being studied for the treatment of microsporidiosis. A pill. Side effects can include stomach upset, headaches and dizziness. Available from the PWA Health Group and other buyers clubs.
aldesleukin:
See interleukin-2.
all-trans retinoic acid:
The natural acid derivative of vitamin A. Has been shown to inhibit growth of cancer cells. Being studied for the treatment of KS.
alpha interferon (Interferon alpha-2a, Roferon, Intron A):
Approved as a treatment for KS. Given by injection. Side effects may include fevers, loss of white blood cells, flu-like symptoms and chills. Nausea is common.
ALRT 1057.
In studies in oral and topical form for the treatment of KS. Previous versions of this treatment were known as LGD 1057 and 9-cis-retinoic acid.
Ambisome:
Liposomal amphotericin B. In studies for treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in children and adults.
amikacin:
An approved antibiotic. Being studied in combination with other drugs for the treatment of MAC. Given by injection. Side effects include kidney damage. Another side effect can be hearing loss.
amitriptyline (Amitril, Elavil):
For treatment of depression. Also used for peripheral neuropathy.
Amphocil:
A liposomal preparation of amphotericin B. A liposome is a tiny fat bubble that may help to direct drugs to diseased tissue. May have fewer side effects. Treatment for fungal infections.
Amphotec (Amphocil):
A liposomal preparation of amphotericin B. A liposome is a tiny fat bubble that may help to direct drugs to diseased tissue. May have fewer side effects. Approved for the treatment of aspergillosis in people who can't take standard amphotericin B.
amphotericin B (Fungizone):
Antibiotic used to treat cryptococcal meningitis. Given intravenously. Strong side effects include fevers, chills, headache, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney damage, and suppression of bone marrow production. An liquid version is now available that can be taken by mouth. A pill form is available from buyers' clubs.
anabolic steroids:
Known to increase muscle mass and weight. Use of steroids is still experimental in HIV, especially for long periods of time. Side effects in people with HIV are not yet known.
anti-B4 blocked ricin:
Treatment for lymphoma. Anti-B4 is a monoclonal antibody linked to a plant toxin (ricin). Blocking the ricin prevents it from binding to most cells, while the anti-B4 antibody targets the molecule to malignant B cells. Can affect the liver. Other side effects can be allergic reactions and weight gain.
anti-B cell monoclonal antibody LL2s:
Monoclonal antibodies are tumor-specific compounds that target diseased cells in the body with great precision. The monoclonal antibodies deliver radioisotope particles to the exact sites of infection, giving doctors a complete picture of how far a cancer has spread.
anti-D:
Anti-Rh antibodies. For the treatment of thrombocytopenia and low platelet count. Also known as Winrho.
anti-TNF monoclonal antibody:
Drug that blocks TNF, sometimes called cachectin. TNF is a naturally occurring substance with many functions in the immune system. TNF levels are elevated in people with HIV infection and may contribute to progression of disease and wasting.
AR-623 (tretinoin):
A derivative of vitamin A. An intravenous drug being studied for KS.
ara-C (cytarabine):
A cancer drug. Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects. Sometimes used to treat PML. A recent study found no benefit to ara-C in the treatment of PML.
aspirin:
Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, has pain-relieving, fever-reducing, and anti-inflammatory activities. Aspirin is no longer being studied as a treatment for HIV disease.
atovaquone (Mepron):
Antibiotic approved for the treatment of mild to moderate PCP in people who can't take Bactrim/Septra. Experimental in the treatment of toxoplasmosis and microsporidiosis. Taken by mouth. Side effects can include headache, nausea, diarrhea, fever and rashes. Approved for treatment of mild to moderate PCP.
Augmentin:
Antibacterial taken as a chewable tablet. In combination study for treatment of skin infections.
azithromycin (Zithromax):
Antibiotic approved for the treatment of chlamydia and urinary tract infections, and for the treatment and prevention of MAC. Experimental in the treatment of toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis. Side effects can be mild GI symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea, dizziness, sensitivity to sunlight, and hearing loss.
AZT (zidovudine, Retrovir):
Nucleoside analog anti-HIV drug. AZT was the first drug approved for the treatment of AIDS. Recent studies show that it should not be used alone. AZT is now used in combination with the other anti-HIV drugs. Long-term AZT use is associated with loss of muscle. Other side effects can be nausea, anemia, white blood cell depression, mouth sores, bone marrow damage, and headaches. Also approved for preventing transmission of HIV from mother to child.
B
B-4 blocked ricin:
See anti-B4 blocked ricin
Bactrim:
See TMP/SMX
bDNA:
See branched DNA assay.
Biaxin:
See clarithromycin
bleomycin:
An anti-cancer drug used for KS and lymphomas. The major side effect is suppression of bone marrow activity which can cause anemia. Other side effects can be fever, chills, and hair loss.
bovine immunoglobulin concentrate (BIC, Sporidin-G):
Experimental treatment for cryptosporidiosis. Made from antibodies derived from Cow's milk.
branched DNA assay (bDNA):
One of several new research tests that measure the amount of HIV in the blood. The test uses a light-detecting system to find HIV RNA particles in a blood sample. The intensity of light generated by the captured particles is proportional to the amount of HIV present.
Bucast:
See MDL 28574A.
BV-ara-U:
Antiviral with activity against herpes and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Seems to be tolerated as well as acyclovir. Can have dangerous interactions with cancer drugs.
BW256U:
See valacyclovir.
C
CCNU (Lomustine):
An anti-cancer drug being studied for the treatment of HIV associated lymphoma.
capreomycin:
Antibiotic used to treat MAC and TB. Side effects can include anorexia, thirst, excess urination, red blood cells in urine, anemia, hearing loss.
ceftriaxone:
Antibiotic which may be an effective treatment for neurosyphilis. Can be given outside of the hospital. Side effects can include diarrhea and liver problems.
CD4-IgG2:
A recombinant human fusion protein in studies as treatment for HIV. See fusion proteins.
CHOP:
CHOP: Combination of anti-cancer drugs that include cytoxan, doxorubicin (hydroxydaunomycin hydrochloride), Oncovin, prednisone.
CI-1012:
Anti-HIV zinc finger inhibitor currently in studies. Zinc fingers are a part of HIV that help assemble new viruses as they are leaving an infected cell. When the zinc fingers are blocked, HIV makes copies of itself that don't work and can't infect new cells.
cidofovir (Vistide, HPMPC):
Newly approved intravenous CMV treatment. Infusions can be as far apart as every other week. Given with a drug called probenicid to try and avoid the major side effect, which is kidney damage. Also being studied in an intravitreal formulation.
cimetidine (Tagamet):
Approved for treatment of peptic (stomach) ulcers.
ciprofloxacin (Cipro):
Antibiotic used in combination with other drugs to treat Mac. When used as preventive medication, may reduce risk of intestinal infections. Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain are the most frequent side effects. Bad taste in the mouth, restlessness, rash, sensitivity to sunlight and seizures are other possible side effects.
cisplatin (Platinol):
Chemotherapy treatment for tumors. Kidney damage is the most serious side effect.
clarithromycin (Biaxin):
Antibiotic approved for treatment and prevention of mycobacterium avium complex (MAC). Experimental in the treatment of toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis. May have to be used in combination with other drugs. Infrequent side effects are diarrhea, nausea, and abnormal taste. Should NOT be used at doses higher than 1000 mg a day.
clindamycin:
Antibiotic. Currently under investigation in combination with pyrimethamine for treatment and prevention of toxoplasmosis, and treatment of pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). Side effects include diarrhea. IV administration can cause a bitter taste in the mouth.
clofazimine:
Approved for the treatment of Hansen's disease. Clofazimine has been studied as a treatment for MAC, but it did not work. Side effects can include gastrointestinal upset and rashes. Also, gradual skin discoloration.
clotrimazole troche (Mycelex):
A slow-dissolving lozenge. For treatment of fungal infection in the mouth. Occasional side effects are nausea, dizziness, diarrhea and change in liver function.
corticosteroid:
Corticosteroids include prednisone, corticosterone, cortisone, and aldosterone. Used for treatment of PCP. High dose corticosteroids are immunosuppressive and people with HIV infection should be cautious about taking them.
Crixivan:
See indinavir.
cyclophosphamide:
Anti-cancer drug, intravenous or oral. Has immune suppressing effects. Under investigation for the treatment of HIV. Side effects can include blood damage and nausea.
cycloserine:
Antibiotic used to treat TB. Side effects can include nervous system symptoms, allergy, skin rash, and elevated liver function tests. Individuals with severe kidney impairment should not be given this drug.
cysteamine:
Used for treatment of a rare genetic kidney disease in children. May work with AZT in stopping HIV from reproducing.
cytarabine:
See ara-C.
Cytovene:
See ganciclovir.
D
d4T (stavudine, Zerit):
Approved nucleoside analog anti-HIV drug. Side effects can include nerve damage in the hands and feet, stomach upset, pancreatitis and liver damage.
dacarbazine:
An anti-cancer drug often added to the combination of adriamycin, bleomycin and vincristine. Used for treating lymphomas.
dapsone:
Approved to treat Hansen's disease. Used for the treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP). Babies and adults who cannot take Bactrim because they get rashes, fevers, and other allergic reactions may respond better to dapsone. Also being used as prevention. Side effects can be anemia, and allergic reactions such as widespread rash and fever. In studies for prevention of PCP in children.
daunorubicin:
Being studied for the treatment of cancers such as leukemias, sarcomas, carcinomas, and lymphomas
Daunoxome:
Approved first-line treatment for advanced AIDS-related KS. Also approved for people who cannot take standard treatments. A liposome form of daunorubicin. A liposome is a tiny fat bubble that may help to direct drugs to diseased tissue. May have fewer side effects in treating KS. Given intravenously once every two weeks.
ddC (Hivid):
Approved nucleoside analog anti-HIV drug. Side effects can include nerve damage in the hands and feet, pancreatitis, and sores in the mouth.
delavirdine (Rescriptor):
Approved anti-HIV drug. A non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). HIV develops resistance to this drug quickly, so it is approved for use in combination with other anti-HIV drugs. Possible side effect can be rash.
ddI (Videx):
Approved nuclseoside analog anti-HIV drug. Comes as chewable tablet or powder. Side effects can include nerve damage in the hands and feet, damage to the pancreas, and diarrhea. Serious adverse reactions have been reported in people taking ddI at the same time as rifabutin and clofazimine. If you are taking IV pentamidine for PCP at the same time as ddI, there is an increased risk of pancreatitis.
DEHSPM (diethylhomospermine):
In study for treatment of AIDS-related diarrhea unresponsive to other treatments. In an earlier study, significantly reduced stool volume, stool frequency, and improved stool consistency.
delavirdine (U90):
A non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). Reverse transcriptase is a part of HIV required to infect cells in the body and make more virus. NNRTIs stop the reverse transcriptase from working properly, like the nucleoside analog drugs. The main side effect is a rash.
dexamethasone:
A steroid. May be effective in reducing cranial pressure that is a symptom of cryptococcal meningitis. Long term treatment can cause adrenal suppression.
Dexedrine:
An amphetamine. Approved for treatment of narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder. In studies for treatment of fatigue associated with AIDS.
dextromethorphan:
Being studied for treatment of HIV encephalopahty (swelling of the brain) or dementia. Works against glutamate receptors in the brain which may be involved in duronal dysfunction in HIV infection. Generally well tolerated. Mild side effects are immediately reversible through dose reduction or discontinuation.
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone):
A naturally occurring hormone that is part of the process by which testosterone is produced. Test tube studies report that DHEA has mild antiviral effects in HIV-infected cells. Minimal side effects have been reported for men with short term use, such as nasal congestion and mild insomnia and nausea (at high doses). Increased facial hair and menstrual changes have been reported in female cancer patients taking the IV form of DHEA (IV DHEA is approved in Italy for renal carcinoma). In studies for treatment of low mood.
DHPG:
See ganciclovir.
didanosine:
See ddI.
Diflucan:
See fluconazole.
DMP266:
One of a new class of drugs called NNRTIs (non-nuceloside reverse transcriptase inhibitors) which include nevirapine and delavirdine. DMP-266 stays in the body for a long time and so is only taken once a day. Currently in studies in human beings.
Doxil:
Approved KS treatment. Liposomal doxorubicin, an anti-cancer drug. A liposome is a tiny fat bubble that may help to direct drugs to diseased tissue. Drugs encapsulated in liposomes may have fewer side effects.
doxorubicin (Adriamycin):
Approved drug for many types of cancers such as leukemias, sarcomas, carcinomas, and lymphomas. Can cause bone marrow suppression, mouth sores, and make your urine red.
dronabinol (Marinol):
A synthetic version of the active chemical in marijuana. Approved for treatment of appetite loss or anorexia associated with weight loss in people with AIDS. Most frequent side effects are drowsiness, muddled thinking, and coordination impairment.
E
Elavil:
See amitriptyline
Epivir:
See 3TC.
erythropoietin (EPO):
Approved for the treatment of AZT-related anemia in people with HIV. May help treat other HIV-related anemias. Generally well tolerated. Side effects can include chest pain, swelling, fast heart beat, headache, and high blood pressure.
ethambutol (Myambutol):
Oral drug used in combination with other drugs to treat tuberculosis. Used in combination with other drugs as a treatment for MAC. Side effects may include decreased or distorted vision, pain and swelling of joints, tingling burning pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, and mental confusion.
etoposide (Vepesid):
Approved drug for treatment of cancer of the testicles and small cell lung cancer. In studies for treatment of AIDS associated KS. May be useful for treating CNS lymphomas. It can be taken by mouth or injected into a vein. Side effects include blood damage, hair loss, nausea, loss of coordination, inflammation of the mouth, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite.
F
5-FU (flourouracil):
A cream applied to the cervix and into the vagina for treatment and prevention of cervical cancer. Side effects can include burning and inflammation.
famciclovir (Famvir):
Approved for the treatment of herpes zoster virus (shingles). A pill formulation of the IV drug penciclovir. Side effects are minimal. In studies for zoster in people with HIV.
F-ddA:
An experimental nucleoside analog anti-HIV drug. F-ddA is related to the approved anti-HIV drug ddI, but is expected to be better absorbed and therefore does not have to be administered with buffers. The buffers in ddI pills can make the drug difficult to take. In the test tube, F-ddA is active against HIV that is resistant to ddI.
fentanyl:
An opiate being studied in patch form for the treatment of chronic pain in people with AIDS.
1592U89:
See U89.
fluconazole (Diflucan):
Approved for the treatment of different types of fungal infections. Used to treat cryptococcal meningitis and thrush in the esophagus. Side effects can include stomach upset. Some doctors are starting people with low T4 cell counts on fluconazole or a related drug, itraconazole, as preventive treatment for fungal infections.
flucytosine (5-FC, Ancobon):
Anti-fungal drug usually given with amphotericin B in order to decrease the emergence of resistant strains. A pill. Side effects can include liver damage.
Forvade:
cidofovir gel. In study for treatment of molluscum. Available through compassionate use program for treatment of herpes simplex.
foscarnet (Foscavir):
Approved for treatment of CMV disease and acyclovir reistant herpes simplex infections.. Also inhibits other herpes viruses and HIV. Being studied for treatment of KS. Main side effect is kidney damage, which can be treated. The foscarnet your body gets rid of in urine can sometimes cause irritation. If sores occur, they will go away even with the continuation of foscarnet.
fozivudine tidoxil:
An experimental nucleoside analog anti-HIV drug, similar to AZT. In phase I studies.
Fungizone:
see amphotericin B.
fusion proteins:
Genetically designed treatments made with fragments of antibodies that target infected cells and hopefully inhibit disease.
G
gamma interferon (rIFN-gamma):
Being studied in combination with AZT in children. An immunomodulator that has been shown to help children with severely compromised nonspecific immunity. Used to treat leprosy and may be useful for treatment of other mycobacterial infections.
ganciclovir (DHPG, Cytovene):
Approved for treatment of CMV. Given intravenously through a permanent catheter. Ganciclovir pills are approved for maintenance treatment in some cases. Also approved for CMV prevention in some cases. Side effects include suppression of white blood cells, called neutropenia. You must discontinue ddC until you are stable on ganciclovir.
G-CSF (Neupogen):
Approved to treat neutropenia (a decrease in white blood cells) in people with cancer, although not yet in people with AIDS. Stimulates production of white blood cells. Side effects of G-CSF include nausea, bone pain and rash.
GEM91:
Belongs to a new category of drugs, called antisense drugs. May be able to target a specific disease without causing significant side effects. Antisense drugs work by interfering with the way viral proteins make more virus. Currently in Phase I studies in NYC for treating HIV infection.
GEM 132:
In studies for treatment of CMV retinitis as intraocular injection. Possible side effect is softening of the globe of the eye.
GM-CSF (sargramostim, Leukine, Prokine):
Approved to treat neutropenia (a decrease in white blood cells) after bone marrow transplants, although not yet approved in people with AIDS. Side effects can include bone pain, rashes, and fever. Stimulates macrophages, which may be infected with HIV.
gp120 vaccine:
gp120 is a piece of protein on the outside of the HIV virus. By creating a vaccine with the shape of this protein, it is hoped that the immune system will begin or increase production of antibodies against the virus. Studies have found no benefit to this vaccine.
gp160 vaccine:
gp160 is part of the outer envelope of the HIV virus. Researchers hope that the gp160 vaccine will stimulate the immune system to attack the virus, extending the symptom-free period. Studies so far have not found any benefit to this vaccine.
growth factor, growth hormone:
See human growth hormone.
H
HBY 097:
An experimental anti-HIV drug in a class of drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Other drugs in this class are nevirapine and delavirdine. Laboratory studies suggest that when HIV tries to resist the effects of this drug, the HIV becomes weaker and possibly less harmful to the body. Neutropenia may be a side effect.
HGH:
See human growth hormone.
Hivid:
See ddC
HIVIG:
A type of passive immunotherapy which may help people with HIV. HIVIG is a sterile solution of concentrated antibodies. Differs from passive immunotherapies in which blood from an HIV+ person with high levels of antibodies is given to an HIV+ person with low levels of antibodies. HIVIG is being tested to see if it prevents transmission from mothers to newborns. Side effects may include headaches, low-grade fever, allergic reaction, and transient rashes.
HPMPC:
See cidofovir.
human growth hormone (Serostim, HGH, rHGH):
Approved for the treatment of weight loss in people with AIDS. Growth factors and growth hormones are naturally occurring substances necessary for the growth of particular immune system cells.
Humatin:
See paromomycin
Hycamtin:
See topotecan.
hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil):
Used for many years to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, an automimmune disease. In the test tube, has shown anti-HIV activity. May correct HIV-related inflammation. Side effects are rare.
hypericin:
A substance in the herb St. John's Wort which has anti-HIV effects in the test tube. Human studies in the US were stopped due to severe reactions to sunlight seen in trial participants. Studies are ongoing in Thailand.
I
IL-2:
See interleukin-2.
IL-3:
See interleukin-3.
IL-10:
See interleukin-10.
IL-12:
See interleukin-12.
IM-862 nasal solution:
Water peptide, administered intranasally. Has been shown in studies to strongly suppress growth of new blood vessels and has shown anti-cancer activity. In studies for the treatment of KS.
imipramine (Tofranil):
Anti-depressant. Possible side effects include insomnia, numbness and tingling, tremors, seizures, dry mouth or blurred vision.
imiquimod:
Approved treatment of anal and genital warts. The cream causes the body to produce a substance called alpha-interferon. In one study, this helped treat the warts in more than half the people that were using the cream.
indinavir (Crixivan, MK-639):
Protease inhibitor made by Merck. Protease inhibitors are non-nucleoside drugs that inhibit protease, an enzyme that HIV used to replicate. Studies have shown that it can greatly reduce the amount of HIV in the blood, particularly when combined with other anti-HIV drugs. Researchers recommend taking indinavir with at least one other nucleoside analog anti-HIV drug (AZT, ddI, ddC, d4T or 3TC). For the strongest anti-HIV effect indinavir should be taken with two nucleoside analogs. Side effects can be elevated liver function tests and kidney stones.
interferons:
Produced by the body during viral infections. See alpha interferon, gamma interferon.
interleukin 2 (IL-2):
Controls the growth and function of many types of cells. Being studied in combination with AZT and other antivirals, also being studied for the treatment of KS. Side effects can be fever, chills, and overall sick feeling.
interleukin-3 (IL-3):
One of the messengers of the immune system. Stimulates red and white blood cells, as well as platelets.
interleukin-10:
One of the chemical messengers of the immune system. Under study for HIV infection. Effects on the body are not yet known.
interleukin-12:
One of the chemical messengers of the immune system. May stimulate cellular immunity. Caused severe side effects when given intravenously as a treatment for kidney cancer. Now being studied as an intramuscular shot for the treatment of HIV infection.
intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG):
A sterile solution of concentrated antibodies that is injected into a vein or muscle. Approved for the prevention of bacterial infections in children with HIV. Sometimes used to treat low platelet counts in people with AIDS.
Invirase (saquinavir):
See saquinavir.
isoniazid (INH):
Oral and IV antibiotic used in combination with other drugs to treat and prevent active tuberculosis (TB). Side effects can include liver damage and neuropathy.
isotretinoin (retinoic acid):
Reduces development of tumors in previously treated individuals. Side effects include inflammation of the skin and mucus membranes, and hepatitis.
itraconazole (Sporanox):
Antifungal drug being studied for a number of AIDS-related fungal infections including cryptococcal meningitis. Approved as treatment for candidiasis, histoplasmosis and blastomycosis. Taken by mouth. Side effects can include stomach upset, loss of potassium, and headache.
IVIG:
Approved for the prevention of bacterial infections in pediatric HIV infection. See intravenous immunoglobulin.
J
K
ketoconazole (Nizoral):
A prescription drug supplied in tablets and liquid. It is used for the treatment of systemic (throughout the body) fungal infections: candidiasis, chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis, oral thrush, candiduria, blastomycosis, coccidioidomy-cosis, histoplasmosis, chromomycosis, and paracoccidioidomycsis. Side effects may include liver problems and the suppression of hormone production, including testosterone.
KNI-272 (Kynostatin):
Experimental anti-HIV protease inhibitor. In phase I studies in adults and children.
L
L-735,524 (MK-639, Crixivan):
See indinavir.
L-743,872:
A new antifungal made by Merck. In studies for treatment of oral candidiasis.
Lamisil (terbinafine):
In study for the treatment of oral candidiasis resistant to fluconazole. A rare side effect of Lamisil can be a rash. If you get a rash, you should stop taking the drug.
lamivudine:
See 3TC.
lamotrigine (Lamictal):
Anti-seizure medication in studies for treatment of peripheral neuropathy.
L-carnitine (levocarnitine):
A naturally occuring substance in the body used in metabolism and energy production. Also available as a supplement.
leucovorin calcium:
A member of the vitamin B complex. Leucovorin is used to treat severe anemia. Leucovorin is used to reduce anemia in people taking dapsone, a preventive treatment for PCP, and to treat side effects of sulfa drugs taken to treat toxoplasmosis. Skin rash and itching are possible side effects.
Levamisole:
A prescription drug approved for use in colon cancer treatment. Being studied in children with HIV infection. May improve immune function. Rare side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash and flu-like symptoms.
Levofloxacin (ofloxacin):
Used to treat lower respiratory infections. Has broad activity against bacterial infections. Common side effects include restlessness, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In studies for treatment of skin infections.
Lexipafant:
A platelet-activating factor antagonist. In studies for the treatment of HIV-associated dementia.
liarozole:
Experimental drug that stimulates the production of retinoic acid. Being studied as a treatment for Kaposi's sarcoma.
liposome-encapsulated amphotericin B:
A liposome is a tiny fat bubble that may help to direct drugs to diseased tissue. Liposomal drugs may have fewer side effects. See amphotericin B.
M
Marinol:
See dronabinol
mBACOD:
mBACOD stands for methotrexate, bleomycin, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine and dexamethasone. Together with folinic acid and GM-CSF (to stimulate white blood cell production), they constitute standard treatment for AIDS-related lymphoma. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, and reduced numbers of white blood cells.
MDL 28574:
Currently in Phase I studies. In lab tests, MDL 28574 reduced the capacity of T4 cells to bind with cells chronically infected with HIV-1 which resulted in reduced virus production.
Megace (megestrol acetate):
Approved for treatment for weight loss and poor appetite. A female hormone. Rare side effects can include change in menstrual patterns, pain in chest, depression, swelling in hands and feet, brown spots on skin, increased body hair, increased breast tenderness, and high blood pressure.
memantine:
Used in Europe since 1982 to treat Parkinson's disease. Being studied for the treatment of dementia in people with HIV.
Mepron:
See atovaquone
methadone:
A prescription drug which effects the body similarly to morphine or heroin. Used as a substitute narcotic in the management of heroin addiction.
methionine:
Amino-acid necessary for the formation of myelin. In studies for treatment of a neurological disorder called myelopathy.
methotrexate:
Anti-cancer drug, intravenous or oral. Also used to treat psoriasis. Under study as a treatment for HIV. Side effects can include blood damage and nausea. Some drugs, such as anti-inflammatory agents and acyclovir, can increase the toxicity of methotrexate.
mexiletine:
Approved for the treatment of heart rhythm disorders. Being studied as a treatment for HIV-related neuropathy. Side effects can be GI distress and dizziness.
MGBG (metoguazone):
Anti-tumor drug. Not approved for the treatment of any malignancy, but has demonstrated antitumor activity. Being studied for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The compound is non-mylosuppressive and has excellent penetration of the blood brain barrier. Side effects of daily dosing produced severe mucositis, vasculitis, painful skin lesions and anorexia with significant weight loss. Prolonging the infusion produced severe diarrhea.
MK-639 (L-735, Crixivan):
See indinavir.
monoclonal antibody:
Copies of antibodies that target diseased cells in the body with precision. Side effects may include allergic reactions, fevers, chills, low blood pressure, and liver and kidney problems. Used as drug delivery systems for cancer treatments.
MSL 109 (serivumab, Protovir):
A monoclonal antibody (see above) designed to target CMV. Early results are promising.
Mycobutin:
See rifabutin
N
NAC (N-acetylcysteine)
A derivative of the naturally occurring amino acid cysteine. Used in liquid form in very high doses to treat Tylenol overdoses. In Europe, commonly used for bronchitis. Broken down by the body into cystein which is used to replace glutathion. People with AIDS can have low levels of cysteine. Being studied for the treatment of HIV infection in the gut.
nelfinavir (AG-1343, Viracept):
Protease inhibitor made by Agouron. Targets the protease enzyme of HIV. Approved for treatment of HIV in adults and children.
NeuTrexin:
NeuTrexin: See trimetrexate glucuronate.
nevirapine (BI-RG-587, Viramune):
Approved anti-HIV drug. Nevirapine is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). HIV develops resistance to this drug quickly, so it is approved for use in combination with other anti-HIV drugs. Possible side effect can be rash.
nimodipine (Nimotop):
A calcium channel blocker. A pill that may treat dementia by preventing the calcium channels from letting HIV enter into brain cells. Side effects can include decreased blood pressure.
9-cis-retinoic acid:
A possible treatment for KS. A natural acid derivative of vitamin A. In studies as a cream applied directly to KS lesions. Possible side effects include skin irritation so exposure to sun should be avoided. See ALRT 1057.
nitazoxanide (NTZ):
Experimental antiparasitic drug in studies as a treatment for cryptosporidiosis. Showed promise in early studies in Mexico. The most common side effects are abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. Available from the PWA Health Group.
non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs):
Reverse transcriptase is a part of HIV required to infect cells in the body and make more virus. NNRTIs stop the reverse transcriptase from working properly, like the nucleoside analog drugs. See delavirdine, nevirapine.
Norvir:
See ritonavir.
NTZ:
See nitazoxanide.
nucleoside analog:
An artificial copy of a nucleoside (the building blocks of DNA). When incorporated into the virus' DNA during viral replication the analog acts to prevent production of new virus. Nucleoside analogs can also inhibit production of DNA in healthy cells. Non-nucleosides are drugs that inhibit the virus without using this mechanism.
nucleotide analog:
Nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA and RNA. Nucleotide analogs are drugs based on nucleotides that are chemically altered to inhibit production or activity of disease-causing proteins. May be be more stable and active than nucleosides. Adefovir dipivoxil is a nucleotide analog in studies for treatment of HIV, CMV and herpesviruses.
nystatin (Mycostatin):
A common topical treatment for thrush. Also used for the treatment of intestinal candidiasis. Has shown anti-HIV effect in the test tube and is being studied in an intravenous formulation for treatment of HIV infection. Side effects can include affecting taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.
O
141W94:
Experimental protease inhibitor made by Glaxo-Wellcome. Well tolerated in Phase I study. Currently in combination studies.
oxandrolone (Oxandrin):
A steroid being studied to see if it can help people with AIDS gain weight and muscle strength. It is a pill. Side effects in men can include the development of breast tissue and low sperm counts. Side effects in women can include an interrupted menstrual cycle and the development of facial hair and a deeper voice. Side effects in both men and women can include water retention and liver damage. The effects of steroids in people who are HIV positive are not known.
P
paclitaxel:
See Taxol.
paromomycin (Humatin):
An antibiotic used for the treatment of intestinal infections. A pill. Side effects can include stomach upset and diarrhea.
passive immunotherapy:
A treatment where blood from an HIV+ donor with a high level of anti-HIV antibodies is given to an HIV+ person with fewer antibodies, in hopes that it will boost the immune response to infection.
PCR:
See polymerase chain reaction assay.
penicillin G:
Standard therapy for neurosyphilis. Must be given in a hospital setting.
pentamidine (Pentam, Nebupent):
Administered intravenously to treat PCP. Given in aerosol form as a prevention against PCP. Side effects of injected pentamidine can include low blood sugar, pancreatitis, and kidney disease. Side effects of inhaled pentamidine can include coughing and collapsed lung. There is an increased risk of getting PCP when only inhaled pentamidine is used.
pentoxifylline (Trental):
Approved for the treatment of blood-clotting disorders in the elderly. May reduce levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is the blood. Studies have not found benefits for people with AIDS. Headache, tremor, dizziness, bad digestion, nausea, and vomiting are the most common side effects.
Peptide T:
A drug intended to block HIV from entering cells. May be helpful for peripheral neuropathy as well. In studies for dementia. Available from buyers clubs.
phi X174:
Bacteriophage phi X174 is a virus not know to infect humans that has been used extensively to test immune function in other immunodeficiency diseases. In study as diagnostic tool.
Pixy321:
A combination of two naturally occurring cytokines, IL-3 and GM-CSF. In lab and animal tests, Pixy321 has been able to stimulate both neutrophil and platelet growth after high-dose radiation.
PMEA (adefovir):
See adefovir dipivoxil.
PMPA:
A nucleotide analog. May be more potent than nucleosides like AZT. Protected macaque monkeys from SIV (a virus related to HIV) infection in animal studies. In Phase I studies in humans beings.
Pneumopent:
See aerosolized pentamidine
polymerase chain reaction sassay (PCR):
One of several approved tests that measure the amount of HIV in a blood sample. May help show how well an anti-HIV treatment is working. May also help people decide if they could benefit from anti-HIV treatment.
polypophyrin:
Used to make skin sensitive to light.
prednisone:
A corticosteroid used to reduce inflammation. Taken by mouth. Side effects can include immune suppression, depression, euphoria, hypertension, nausea, and anorexia.
procarbazine:
An approved oral anti-cancer drug used primarily as part of a multi-drug treatment for Hodgkin's disease. Side effects can include mylosuppression, nausea, and vomiting, neuropathy, confusion and swelling.
procysteine:
Stimulates production of glutathione which may inhibit the replication of HIV. Many people with HIV have low levels of glutathione. Taken by mouth. Currently in clinical trials.
proleukin (IL-2):
Used for the treatment of kidney cancer. Being tested as a TB treatment. Also in combination studies for HIV infection and KS.
protease inhibitor:
Drug which stops protease from working. Protease is an enzyme needed for HIV replication.
Protovir:
See MSL-109.
Prozac (fluoxetine):
A standard treatment for depression in non HIV-infected individuals. Side effects can include overstimulation, upset stomach, and headache.
pyrazinamide (PZA):
An oral anti-TB drug used in combination. Side effects can include liver damage, nausea, and rash.
pyridoxine:
Form of vitamin B6 used with INH treatments for tuberculosis to help prevent side effect of peripheral neuropathy.
pyrimethamine:
An anti-protozoal drug. Standard treatment for toxoplasmosis in combination with sulfadiazine. Being studied as a prevention. Taken by mouth. Side effects can include bone-marrow damage and rashes. Folic acid deficiency can cause a painful burning tongue, loss of taste, and anemia.
Q
R
recombinant human nerve growth factor:
In studies for treatment of HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy. May be able to reverse nerve damage. Animal studies have shown it also completely prevents nerve damage caused by toxic effects of certain cancer drugs.
Rescriptor:
See delavirdine.
retinoids:
A class of drugs which have shown encouraging results in the treatment of cancers and other conditions such as hairy leukoplakia and molluscum contagiosum. These drugs are a chemically created version of a substance found in Vitamin A. Like Vitamin A, retinoids can be very dangerous, and stay in the body for a very long time. Medical supervision is highly recommended.
Retrovir:
See AZT.
rhNGF:
Recombinant human nerve growth factor. In studies for treatment of HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy.
rhu IL-1R:
Binds to IL-1. Used in experimental treatments for KS. IL-1 is a cytokine produced in response to infection which may contribute to KS.
ribavirin (Virazole):
In lab studies, inhibits HIV replication. Test tube studies show it works better in combination with ddI. In early trials in humans, did not work.
rifabutin (Mycobutin):
Approved for preventing MAC in people with AIDS with less than 75 T4 cells. Recent studies have found it less effective than clarithromycin or azithromycin. Also used in combination with other drugs as a MAC treatment. Side effects can include kidney and liver damage, bone marrow suppression, rash, fever and GI distress. Urine, feces, saliva, sputum, sweat or tears may become red-orange to red-brown in color.
rifampin:
TB treatment. Can be taken by mouth or injected into a vein. Side effects can include liver damage, and stomach upset.
rifapentine:
An antibiotic. In studies for the treatment of MAC.
ritonavir:
Protease inhibitor made by Abbott. Studies have shown that it can greatly reduce the amount of HIV in the blood. It has also been shown to reduce disease progression and death in a study of people with under 100 T cells. Side effects can be nausea, diarrhea and numbing around the mouth. Also affects the absorption of many other drugs by the body due to its actions in the liver. Approved for treatment of HIV in adults and children.
RMP-7:
A drug which allows substances to cross the blood-brain barrier.
rPF4:
Recombinant platelet factor 4. A synthetic version of a naturally occurring protein which inhibits blood vessel formation. Being studied for the treatment of KS. New blood vessel formation is believed to be important in the development of KS.
r24 antibody:
Copy of an antibody that attacks r24, which is a protein found on cells damaged by Hodgkin's disease. See also monoclonal antibody.
RS-79070:
Ganciclovir oral pro-drug. A form of ganciclovir taken in pill form that converts rapidly to ganciclovir in the body. In studies.
S
saquinavir:
(Invirase, Ro 31-9959) Protease inhibitor made by Hoffman-La Roche. Well tolerated with few side effects. Not as well absorbed by the body as other protease inhibitors. Better antiviral activity in studies when combined with nucleoside analogs.
Septra:
See TMP/SMX
serivumab:
See MSL-109.
Sorivudine:
See BV-ara-U.
sparfloxacin:
An antibiotic that has shown activity against mycobacterium, the organisms which cause tuberculosis and MAC. Side effects from use in non-HIV infected people include hypersensitivity to sunlight and GI distress.
Sporanox:
See itraconazole.
Sporidin-G:
See bovine immunoglobulin concentrate.
stavudine:
See d4T.
streptomycin:
Antibiotic used in combination with other drugs to treat TB. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, rash and fever. Loss of hearing has been seen following long-term use. Should not be used by anyone with kidney impairment.
steroids:
See anabolic steroids or corticosteroids.
sulfadiazine:
A sulfa drug used in the treatment of toxoplasmosis and meningitis. Sulfadiazine can produce toxic side effects which include bone marrow suppression. Because it is a sulfa drug, many people cannot tolerate it. The drug forms crystals in the kidneys, which can lead to blockage and kidney failure.
sulfamethoxazole:
For people with HIV disease, this drug is usually given in a combination form for prevention of PCP. The combination form is trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, or TMP/SMX. As a single drug product, sulfamethoxazole is most commonly used to treat urinary tract infections.
sulfasalazine:
Widely used for the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis and arthritis. Has been safely used in people with HIV disease complicated with arthritis. Comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth. The main side effects are headaches, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Sustacal Plus:
Nutritional supplement being studied as a treatment for weight loss.
T
Tagamet:
See cimetidine
Targretin:
See ALRT 1057. Activates retinoid receptors. Oral form in studies for treatment of KS.
Taxol (paclitaxel):
Anti-cancer treatment made from yew trees. Being studied for KS treatment.
3TC (Epivir, lamivudine):
Approved nucleoside analog anti-HIV drug. 3TC has also shown activity against the hepatitis-B virus (HBV). Side effects can include headache, nausea, low white blood cells and rare cases of hair loss.
testosterone:
Male sex hormone. In trials for treatment of sexual dysfunction, weight loss and depression.
thalidomide:
Originally developed as a sleeping pill. Lab studies show that it has effect against HIV, TB and inflammatory conditions. May cause severe birth defects. In studies for treatment of HIV and wasting. Available through an Emergency IND program.
thymic humoral factor (THF):
A hormone found in thymuses of young calves. The most common side effect associated with administration of THF is pain upon injection. More uncommon are redness and/or swelling.
thymopentin (TP-5):
In lab tests, stimulates the thymus and production of T cells. Possible side effects include respiratory congestion, pain at injection, headache, and fatigue.
Timentin:
An antibacterial given by IV. In combination study for treatment of skin infections.
TJ-9:
A formulation of the herbal compound Sho-Saiko-To.
TLC D-99:
A form of liposomal doxorubicin made by The Liposome Company. In study for treatment of KS.
TMP/SMX (Bactrim, Septra):
A drug combination effective at preventing and treating PCP pneumonia. May also prevent toxoplasmosis as well. Can cause allergies, typically fever, itchy rash, nausea, and vomiting. Neutropenia can also occur.
TNP-470:
Possible treatment for KS. An angiogenesis inhibitor, is tolerated in people with KS. TNP-470 prevents the growth and development of new blood vessels. New blood vessel formation is believed to be important in the development of KS. Possible toxicities are expected to be very mild, including diarrhea, anorexia, and nausea.
topotecan:
Approved treatment for ovarian cancer. Being studied for the treatment of PML.
total parenteral nutrition (TPN):
Liquid food injected directly into the bloodstream through a vein. Used to treat malnourishment.
Trental:
See pentoxifylline
Tretinoin (oral):
In studies for treatment of KS. See retinoids.
trifluridine:
Used experimentally to treat acyclovir-resistant herpesvirus infections.
trimethoprim (TMP):
One component of Bactrim and Septra, drugs which are used to prevent PCP pneumonia in HIV+ individuals. Often used with leucovorin rescue, a B vitamin that helps prevent the blood cell damage these drugs can cause.
Trimetrexate glucuronate:
Approved for treatment of moderate to severe PCP when Bactrim/Septra cannot be used. Used in combination with leucovorin which protects cells from drug toxicity.
U
U89:
Reverse transcriptase inhibitor similar to AZT but thought to have fewer side effects. In Phase I/II studies. Resistance to treatment may also be slower to develop. In animal studies, crosses blood brain barrier and has synergy with AZT, ddI, ddC, 3TC and some protease inhibitors.
U90:
See delavirdine.
V
vaccines:
Vaccines are being tested as treatments for people who are HIV+. From all studies conducted to date, HIV vaccines appear to be safe in HIV+ people. At this time it is not known if they are effective treatments. The vaccine cannot give you HIV. See also gp120, gp160.
valacyclovir:
An antiviral agent which is rapidly turned into acyclovir in the bloodstream. More absorbable by the body than oral acyclovir.
Vaxsyn:
An experimental HIV vaccine treatment using the gp 160 protein.
Videx:
See ddI
VIMRxyn:
A synthetic version of hypericin, an anti-HIV substance in the herb St. John's Wort. Studies are ongoing in Thailand.
vinblastine:
Given intravenously in combination with other drugs for the treatment of KS. Can have many side effects, including suppression of bone marrow.
vincristine (Oncovin):
A drug sometimes used in the treatment of KS, thrombocytopenia, leukemias, lymphomas, and solid tumors. Can have many side effects, including reversible peripheral neuropathy.
Viracept:
Brand name for protease inhibitor made by Agouron, also known as AG-1343. Approval expected in early 1997, expanded access in October 1996.
Viramune:
See nevirapine.
Vistide:
See cidofovir.
vitamin B6:
See pyridoxine.
VX-478:
See 141W94.
W
WinRho SD:
Approved for the treatment of ITP in children with chronic or acute ITP, adults with chronic ITP and children and adults with ITP secondary to HIV infections. See immune globulin. Not approved for patients whose spleen have been removed.
WR 6026:
In studies for treatment of PCP. A pill.
X
Y
Z
zalcitabine:
See ddC.
Zerit:
See d4T.
zidovudine:
See AZT.
Zithromax:
See azithromycin.

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