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Illicit and recreational drugs

From Antiviral treatments • 12 August 2009

There’s not a lot known about how HIV treatments interact with illicit or recreational drugs, though this is changing. Although it is not recommended or advised that recreational drugs be consumed, if you do take recreational drugs, there are some common cautions you could follow:

  • Avoid taking HIV drugs and other drugs at exactly the same time: wait at least a couple of hours between doses;
  • Ritonavir and possibly other protease inhibitors may cause dangerous, even fatal interactions with ecstasy, crystal/ice and other types of methamphetamines;
  • Drink plenty of water;
  • Start with a smaller amount of any illicit drug and monitor any unusual responses;
  • Seek emergency medical help if you experience dizziness, sudden drowsiness, blurred vision, heart palpitations, vomiting or any other severe or unexpected effect; and
  • Methamphetamines and ecstasy can often cause loss of appetite and even make eating difficult, which can be a problem for people who need to
    take treatments with food.

Antiviral treatments

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This Resource was first published on 12 August 2009 — more than four years ago.

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