A ‘side effect’ is the name for when taking a particular medicine makes you feel unwell. Even though medicines are important and help you to stay well, they can sometimes give you an unpleasant feeling at the same time. You may get headaches, feel sick, be sick, have an upset stomach, loss of appetite, or sleeping problems. Side effects can be any symptom that is different to your normal state of bring. Any medicine – even Paracetamol or Ibuprofen– have a long list of possible side effects.
Anyone who is living with HIV may get some of these unwanted effects of taking medicine. It is quite usual for this to happen when the type of medication which is taken, or combination of medicines, is changed by their doctor as the old ones aren't working as well anymore. Side effects often go away once the body gets used to the new medication. Sometimes the side effects will not go away and then the person taking them may want to talk to their doctor about trying other medication types instead.
The above document has been created to explain side effects identified for different HIV medication. Click on the image above to view our side effects document.