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How much does it really matter if you take your pills on time?

How much does it really matter if you take your pills on time?

Beta 1997: 9

Combination therapies that are being prescribed for HIV are complex, confusing to patients, and often involve taking more than 20 pills per day. The side effects can be considerable, and many of the drugs require that they either be taken with food or not be taken at mealtimes. As a result, adherence to the prescribed regimen is difficult. The mechanics of resistance and several studies that demonstrate a correlation between adherence and treatment effectiveness are described. It is difficult to monitor a patient's adherence, primarily because the drug usage in any study is self-reported and prone to errors. Drug testing may be a way to track the varying dosage levels. In some studies, the amount of drugs prescribed has varied by 300 percent to achieve the same blood levels. Adherence to a combination HIV therapy is so complex now that patients need to organize their lives around their treatment regimen, and physicians need to spend extra time with them to make sure they understand both the regimen and the implications of non-compliance.

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Accession: 046280150

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PMID: 11364710

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