AIDS drugs increase heart attack risk: study

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Washington, Apr 2 (UNI) A couple of commonly used AIDS drugs may nearly double the risk of heart attack, researchers say.

Experts have suspected that the drugs could cause heart problems and come with many side effects, including liver and kidney failure, chronic fatigue syndrome, hepatitis and jaundice.

''AIDS drugs are lifesavers but they do have toxicity problems.

We can continue to use them, but need to be aware of their long-term problems,'' Washington Post quoted Dr Charlie Gilks, an AIDS treatment expert at the World Health Organisation as saying.

In a study by the medical journal Lancet, the researchers said doctors have not yet recommendeded patients to abandon the two drugs--Ziagen and Videx.

Analysing more than 33,000 people infected with the AIDS virus, researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that those who took Ziagen had twice the chances of a heart attack compared to patients on other AIDS drugs. And those on Videx had a 50 per cent higher chance. But the risk disappeared six months after patients stopped taking the drugs.

The findings could influence how AIDS patients were treated globally as health authorities like WHO reconsider their treatment guidelines. Ziagen and Videx are currently recommended by WHO for people with HIV worldwide.

UNI XC PD GC1352

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