Saturday, July 21, 2012

Antiretroviral flavors

I just finished one month of of doing infectious disease consults at Jackson and one of my consults last week was antiretroviral (HIV) medication recommendations for a patient with a PJG (feeding) tube. In most of these cases medications are crushed, mixed with some water and pushed through the PJG. ARVs are pretty fancy high-tech pills that cannot be crushed without decreasing the efficacy of the medication or inactivating it completely. So it was my esteemed pleasure to look up what ARVs can be crushed and which come in liquid form. I found a pretty straightforward article with all the info I needed. I couldn't help but chuckle at all the exotic flavors of liquid HIV medication formulations. I'd thought liquid HIV medications would be a pretty utilitarian market, but how wrong I was. Without further ado, I give you your flavor options:

  • Abacavir (ZIAGEN): Strawberry-Banana
  • Emtricitabine (EMTRIVA): Cotton candy
  • Lamivudine (EPIVIR): Strawberry-Banana
  • Stavudine (ZERIT): Fruit
  • Zidovudine (RETROVIR): Strawberry
  • Fosamprenavir (LEXIVA): Grape, bubble gum, or peppermint
  • Tirpanavir (APTIVUS): Butternut or butter-toffee
  • Ritonavir (NORVIR): Peppermint or caramel
This is complicated by the fact that most people are on at least 3 HIV medications, adding up to some really funky flavor combo possibilities. Imagine mixing your "butter-toffee" syrup with the "cotton candy". Luckily our patient had two medications that were strawberry-banana and one that was unflavored, so there was no flavor clash issues. Did you ever think there would be a connection between SMOOTHIES and INFECTIOUS DISEASE? It happened so quickly

On a similar topic of pharmaceutical ridiculousness, take this quiz and decide if it's a drug name or a pokemon name: Drug or Pokemon
Even 3 years deep into medical school and formerly a pokemon follower, this was pretty difficult. I mostly know only generic drug names and the brand names are the weird ones. I am also only familiar with the first 150 pokemon. 

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