Antiretroviral medications - reverse transcriptase inhibitors

Selected Medications

Reverse transcriptase inhibitors include:

  • Ribavirin (Copegus and Rebetol)
  • Zidovudine (Retrovir)
  • Didanosine (Videx)
  • Zalcitabine (Hivid)
  • Stavudine (Zerit)
  • Lamivudine (Epivir)

Depletions

Copper

It is rare to be deficient in copper. Symptoms of a long-term deficiency include:

  • Anemia
  • Slow growth
  • Osteoporosis
  • Joint problems
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Skin problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Being more vulnerable to infection

Zinc

Signs and symptoms of zinc deficiency include:

  • Loss of appetite or sense of taste
  • Growth retardation
  • Skin changes
  • Increased susceptibility to infection

Editorial Note

The information presented here covers some of the nutrients that may be affected when you take certain medications. If you have the signs and symptoms listed, it does not always mean you have low levels of these nutrients. Many things affect the level of nutrients, including your:

  • Medical history
  • Diet
  • Lifestyle

As well as how long you have been taking the medication. Please talk with your health care provider. They can best address your health care needs and determine whether you are at risk for low levels of any nutrients.

Supporting Research

Ames BN. Micronutrient deficiencies: A major cause of DNA damage. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2000;889:87-106.

Araya M, Pizarro F, Olivares M, Arredondo M, González M, Méndez M. Understanding copper homeostasis in humans and copper effects on health. Biol Res. 2006;39(1):183-7.

Donnelly PS, Xiao Z, Wedd AG.Copper and Alzheimer's disease. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2007 Apr;11(2):128-33.

Hambidge M. Human zinc deficiency. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S Suppl):1344S-1349S.

Maret W, Sandstead HH. Zinc requirements and the risks and benefits of zinc supplementation. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2006;20(1):3-18.

Pelton R, LaValle J, Hawkins EB, et al. Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. Hudson, OH: LexiComp, Inc.;2001:429-430.

Powell SR. The antioxidant properties of zinc. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S Suppl):1447S-54S.

Tubek S, Grzanka P, Tubek I. Role of Zinc in Hemostasis: A Review. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2007; [Epub ahead of print].

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 9/30/2014
  • Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed HealthCare Network. Also reviewed by the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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