User Reviews for Biktarvy to treat HIV Infection
Biktarvy has an average rating of 7.1 out of 10 from a total of 143 ratings for the treatment of HIV Infection. 57% of reviewers reported a positive experience, while 20% reported a negative experience.
“I ended up in hospital August 6 2021 for 11 days, I was told I had HIV, I also had pneumonia and oral thrush. Before hospital I had a fevers, night sweats, sore throat, struggling to breath and lost almost 20 kilos in a few months. I left hospital and was given Biktarvy, azithromycin, bactrim, esomeprazole, fluconazole, nystatin. My cd4 count was 17 and viral load 545000. November 17 2021, 3 months later, my cd4 count is at 108 and viral load less than 20 but still detectable (just). The doctor said, I'm happy with this and hope my immune system recovers. Biktarvy works for me. Night sweats only stopped early November, I feel a lot better, I don't feel sick, only negative is a rash, maybe hives, around 2 months after starting these medications, hoping its not from Biktarvy, maybe its the antibiotics. I will see the doctor again December 6 to check the rash, it's annoying but bearable. This has been really scary but I'm doing the best I can, I hope everyone stays strong.”
“I have been HIV+ since 1999. The Biktarvy introduction was one of the worst I’ve had during my arduous journey. My entire body was in pain, exhausted, my stomach hurt, with no energy. After about 3 weeks it started to normalize so I continued. I am finishing up my 3rd month of treatment and things seem worse. I am very active but the pain in my gluteus, legs, and feet are horrible. When I work out I can’t seem to recover for days. Every morning my stomach is bloated with dull pain. I have had concerning mental blocks, I am now a med student and need to be able to recall things on demand, so this is causing challenges. Problems sleeping and often wake up in the middle of the night having the “is it worth it” moments. The other thing I have noticed is depression, something I haven’t had since my young 20s. This could all be due to the lack of sleep and the constant pain and frustration, but I just feel off. I hope sharing helps someone else.”
“I have been on Biktarvy now for about 6 months and the verdict is still out. I took Atripla for 7 years and it was my miracle drug worked great with no side effects but my new doctor recommended Biktarvy saying it was better for my liver and kidneys long term bc 1 of the 3 drugs was less toxic. I agreed and switch but now I feel like in in a fog and have been getting lightheaded spells. My pulse has also been low and I blacked out driving. I have had many tests and CT scan but everything was good. So now I am thinking Biktarvy may be the culprit. Anyone having these same side effects.”
“I was diagnosed with HIV February 26, 2019. I had a viral load of 1,170,000+ and a cd4 count of 16. As of December 16, 2019 I am undetectable with a cd4 of 122. I have hives and a rash on my arms and shoulders, mostly when I get out of the shower, but nothing that isn't manageable with skin cream. I'm still having a hard time dealing with HIV, but I am trying to be strong. Because of this medicine, and it being one pill a day, I have not missed a dose. My insurance covers most of the cost, and a coupon covers the remaining bill. I hope they find a vaccine and one day a cure.”
“I have been taking Biktarvy for more than 3 months and I feel necessary to share my experience due to the amount of negative comments about it in this forum, so I was very afraid to make the change. I've been taking complera since I was 20 years old, making it undetectable since 2017. I have not had any problems with this new pill, I trust that it is less harmful to the body. Don't be afraid to make the switch! Cheer up, we're all in this together.”
“I don't know what to think or how to feel about Biktarvy. I have experienced the diarrhea, nausea, brainfog, light headness and faintness. Now I'm experiencing headaches, and pressure on head, and my head feel heavy at times. The doctor says the meds are working, but why do I feel so bad if I'm healing? I have been to the ER several times and they all have said that my blood work looks fine and they can't find anything wrong. I don't know if I should change my meds, or is this normal to have theses types of side effects. I've been having bad days since 02/15/2021. At times I feel better and at times I feel irritable. I don't feel sick or ill, I just feel ill and slow motion at times. I pray that someone please find a cure or vaccine to get rid of this virus. A cure or vaccine for ALL. I'm on my knees begging to whoever have the knowledge to come with the cure for HIV and aids to please have a heart and CURE US ALL PLEASE.”
“I was diagnosed with HIV in 2014 and have remained undetectable with 960+ cd4 counts taking Triumeq ever since. On it, I experienced light nausea and occasional insomnia. My doctor suggested I switch to Biktarvy for future kidney benefits. After 3 months on Biktarvy my long hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows have fallen out. It began with a few extra hairs on my brush to now bald patches all over my head. I don’t have a history of alopecia. All labs to rule out other causes came back normal. Dermatologist found no external causes. The only change in my life has been the switch in HIV meds. Regardless, the doctor insisted that it cannot be related to Biktarvy and wanted me to continue on it. I refused and asked to be put back on Triumeq. I know hair loss is not considered a side effect of Biktarvy, but I am posting in case others out there are experiencing it. I will update on any changes made by going back to Triumeq.”
Frequently asked questions
- Which medicines should not be taken with Biktarvy?
- Can Biktarvy be used for PrEP or PEP?
- Does Biktarvy cause weight gain?
- What is Biktarvy used for?
“My doctor suggested I try Biktarvy as a replacement for Genvoya since it doesn't have to be taken with food, and I decided to try it. After a couple of days I had severe fatigue and sweating bad enough that it was difficult to get out of bed. I switched back to Genvoya for a couple of days and the fatigue went away. I told my doc about this and he suggested I try Biktarvy again because he said severe fatigue isn't that common and thought it might be something else. I switched back and the next day the fatigue was back just as bad if not worse than the first time. I was tired, depressed, and lethargic. Yesterday I again switched back to Genvoya and today I feel normal again. Clearly Biktarvy is a good drug that works for many people, but I'm posting this for anyone having the same side effects so you'll know you aren't alone.”
“So I was diagnosed September 29th 2018 with full blown AIDs!!!(I’m 35 so I can use that term). I only found out because I got sick and had pneumonia and it was the type of pneumonia I had. My cd4 count was 8 and my viral load off the chart! It’s been a year and my viral load is undetectable and my cd4 count is 208!!!!!! Amazing”
“30 years HIV+. This biktarvy is nasty & experimental & a $10 billion dollar bonanza for the company pushing this poison. Here's why... took it for a month... Gave me upper pain in stomach just below rib cage. Gave me nasty smelling severe diarrhea smelt like traveling behind a vehicle with emergency brakes on while burning oil. That smell made me nauseous. At night time would get a reflux that was nasty like raw crude oil taste. Very dry mouth teeth and tongue. Gave me horrible night and day sweats behind neck, behind knees, arm pits and inner elbows. Gotten extremely dry mouth. Called my doctor went back to taking good ole atripla. My gut, heart, 6th sense, guardian angel and mind tells me biktarvy is bad ju ju. Had very dark nightmares and dark depression. Actually awoken up from my dark nightmares...Imo this drug is terrible and scares me to death. Doubt they'll publish this. I'll save in favorites and check back. Very Angry my doctor pushed this drug on me. Kick backs?”
“Hi , after using Atripla for years my doctor thought it was time for the newer drug Biktarvy. Well I immediately had bad dreams and slowly this had an effect on my daily temper as well. After a few weeks it got me down so much it started to bother me. So after using it for about 4 months I changed back to Atripla and all is fine again. Best Regards BTW 26 years positive and on meds for about 20 years 700 cd4 and undetectable”
“I was newly diagnosed with HIV last May 07, 2019. My VL was 60K, and CD4 <300. I began taking Biktarvy almost immediately after being diagnosed. I experienced tiredness, dizziness, and a low intensity headache when I began treatment. Those side effects subsided after 2 weeks. As of Sept, 2019 my VL is <20, and CD4 >850 (undetectable). I feel very happy, and confident about my treatment.”
“Diagnosed in 1988. The lack of sleep is the worst. I wake up multiple (5 - 10x) in a 5 hour span. I am tired constantly, achy, foot pain, lower back pain, nausea, upper abdominal pain and extremely depressed over how poorly I feel. I called my doc and requested a change of meds. I have lost my eyebrows, losing eye lashes and hair is thinning. He doesn't believe these issues are caused by the medicine but I believe it is as the issues didn't happen until after I started Biktarvy.”
“I’m part of the 5% of hiv+ patients who gets strong side effects. Started with atripla , truvada and two other till Genvoya. This Wednesday my Dr. Decided to switch to Biktarvy because my cd4 was on 976 and i generally have over 1200 and because my cholesterol was high. I experienced dizziness, 20 mins after taking all blood would rush into my head n feel extremely high. I had diarrhea over 15 times in a day. Nausea, intestines felt like I had acid running, burning... headache. Abnormal dreams and insomnia, extreme psychosis. I only slept 3 hours in two days. On second day was desperate, frustrated and depressed... I’m not suicidal, but just wished I didn't have to live like this. Motivation zero, felt inhuman”
“I have been taking Biktarvy for 3 months now. I've been positive for 18 years and this is combo number 5. This time the switch was solely financial in going back to a one a day pill. I have to say I almost gave up on it after 2 weeks due to the extreme fatigue and joint pain but I was overseas for 3 weeks with no other option. I'm glad I continued because after the initial side effects subsided I have had no issues, I would recommend it highly but give the side effects some time to clear up if you get them, don't give up too soon!”
“My Experience, this is my 3rd refill trying to hang in there, former medication Atripla. Now taking Biktary. My feet has become sensitive to walk on they feel ache and tired. Biktary does not mesh well with seafood, breaks me out upper chest area. Also IU notice a change in my skin acne / rash like bumps appear. Trying to hang in there keep you posted but pray for me.”
“I’ve been on Biktarvy since I was diagnosed over 2 years ago. When I started, my viral load was in the millions and my CD4 was 150. Just 3 months after starting the drug, my viral load was undetectable and CD4 raised to 700. I’m 2 years positive now and am in the best health of my life! I have MINIMAL side effects. The drug gives me constant gas and at times I feel muscle fatigue but other than that, no MAJOR side effects. I began to gain a little weight at the 18 month point but adjusted my diet and exercise and feel the best I’ve ever felt! my doctor just told me my VL is 18 and my CD4 is 1200! My blood levels are all normal or above normal and besides the VL of 18, there’s no evidence elsewhere that I’m HIV positive. My suggestion for those beginning it is to give it time, workout and eat better.”
- What if I miss a dose of Biktarvy?
- How fast or how long does it take Biktarvy to work?
- Can I drink alcohol while taking Biktarvy?
- Is Biktarvy covered by insurance?
“Great clinical results, but after a year on Bik, I still have mild dizziness. It's most notable when I exercise or do yoga. My doc doesn't seem concerned, but it is frustrating... Anyone found a work-around for dizziness?”
“Heres my update as promised :) Last April 2019 I posted that I will be starting my treatment with Biktarvy. My base numbers were : VL=135K and CD4=400+. I just had my blood work done (May 2019), literally 1 month (30 days) since starting with Biktarvy and happy to share that I am UNDETECTABLE within 1 month of treatment and my CD4=700+ :) No side effects whatsoever... Kidneys, Liver and Heart are all in good condition. This tiny pill (Biktarvy) is amazing and IT REALLY WORKS without any side effects !!! Feeling Thankful & Happy BirdBird (Toronto)”
“Started Biktarvy 3 months ago. Now HIV is undetectable but I have to take sleeping pills. Vivid dreams are occasional and I often feel tired and with nausea. But you get used to it. Much rather take this pill than not be here anymore”
“I have noticed extreeme fatigue, mood swings, nightmares that have affected my day to day living. I was changed to this treatment because of the lower reported side effects shown in clinical trials in relation to Mental Health and Biktarvy. I have extreme mood swings, chronic fatigue, sweating, diarrhea, muscle pains, mental blocks, memory problems and stomach / acid reflux, urinating excessively, difficulties with libido involuntary body movements and night sweats/ mares. This is my 5th HAARRT regime since 2010 (diagnosed in 2002), I have been told this is the newest and best drug to treat the virus with less side effects (significantly less reported mental health problems with this drug). It has not been as problematic as previous regimes which included Atripla, Truvada, Nervirapine etc however, as with all HAARRT treatments side effects are expected. I have suffered extreme side effects from all HAARRT treatments which has been physically and mentally disabling.”
“Was diagnosed HIV positive on August 24th of 2019. Went to the hospital for cellulitis and got the news. CD4 count at 24 very low, AIDS range. Started treatment September 11th and feel a lot better. I notice small burst of energy randomly almost like I’m reconstructing. At first I had a pretty tough time sleeping. I don’t know if it was because of the diagnoses or meds. Crazy dreams was an issue for a short period. I haven’t let this slow me down because I’m the same person I was before I knew I was positive. Currently fighting a skin infection, but along with antibiotics. I can’t wait to get my updated CD4 number, I don’t remember what my viral load was so that’ll be a surprise as well. I’ll update around the 13th of December because that’ll be a solid 90 days. Gained about 23lbs as well. There is a Biktarvy support group and HIV support group on drugs.com ”
“I was diagnosed with HIV 1 week before my birthday. Having been very well informed about it, I wasn't really distraught. I was dating someone that told me he was taking his meds and was undetectable but I kinda felt like he wasn't. So now I'm HIV positive. Started Bictarvy 8 days ago and feel much better and my swollen lymph nodes have gone down. No side effects so far, I'll keep you guys posted.”
“Biktarvy is great, I have been positive since 2013 and started on Stribild in April 2013. Stribild got me undetectable and I switched to Genvoya once it came on the market. I then switched to Biktarvy once that one came on the market and I have been undetectable ever since I started with my drug therapy. I haven't had any side effects except for loose stool but that is something I can deal with. Hope that helps.”
“Diagnosed HIV+ on 2016 and went on Stribild with zero side effects. I started to read on different forums Stribild was having long term negative effect on liver, kidney and bone health. I asked to go on Biktarvy. Currently undetectable, but CD4 dropped from 1077 to 920 (still good though). However, I'm ALWAYS tired now. If I'm not in bed by 11 I'm annoyed, really weird mood swings and the most ridiculous far fetched dreams that I've actually been able to control while I'm sleeping. I wake up and feel like I haven't slept because of the non stop hyperactive dreams. I've also woken up just crying. Once a week I feel like I have the flu too. Kinda want to go back to Stribild...dunno what to do...”
This information is not intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews may be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare professionals.
Learn more about HIV Infection
- 9 Facts About Current HIV Treatment
- Drug Treatment of HIV and AIDS Complications
- HIV / AIDS Opportunistic Infections and Symptoms
- HIV and AIDS Center
- HIV and AIDS Medications and Drug Classes
- HIV Prevention: PrEP and Other Options
- National HIV Testing Day
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