Email 540: ARV Schedule

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 8:04 AM

Hi Pozzie,

I just read on your blog dtd Nov. 4, 2011, that you take your 4 tabs on an empty stomach, is that the right way to take our ARV ( my med are Lamivudine, Tenofovir, Efavirenz plus Cotrimoxazole).

Because, since my first day of taking my ARV, last  June 24, 2013 up to now I take my ARV, after my dinner which is 8:00 P.M.

Please enlighten me, to know the right way to take our ARV.

Your urgent reply is highy appreciated.

My hub is in Alabang


Hi there.

Thank you for your email. Thank you for sharing your concern.

The reason why I take my ARV's on an empty stomach is to lessen the side effects of efavirenz per se. The side effects of efavirenz based on the literature and from my doctor come out with food, though not lessening it's effects on HIV. The other two ARV's, lamivudine and tenofovir can be taken with or without food however, that is why I opted to take them together with efavirenz on an empty stomach. The main reason for this, upon research is that if the stomach has food, efavirenz will be absorbed in the stomach rather than pass through it and be absorbed in the beginning small intestine, thus lessening the side effects. However, like what I said, even with food, efavirenz can still be taken depending on your body's tolerance to the side effects.

I take my ARV's at 10pm and my last meal is at 6pm. My stomach is thus empty for 4 hours before taking my ARV's. I experienced the dizziness only on my first day of taking it, which was two years ago and up to now, I don't have the other side effects of efavirenz.

I hope I was able to answer your concerns. Feel free to email me again if you have other questions.

Stay healthy,

NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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