When several types of medication are taken at once, their effects can influence each other. For people on HIV treatment, it's important to know about these interactions and to talk to a doctor about them. Seemingly harmless medications, many of which can be bought at a pharmacy without a prescription, can reduce the effectiveness of HIV drugs. The threat of drug resistance developing is increased. In the worst-case scenario, the HIV treatment may stop being effective.
Taking recreational drugs such as ecstasy, cocaineor heroincan alter the effectiveness of HIV drugs or worsen the consequences of the HIV infection itself. In some cases, life-threatening drug interactions can occur.
Drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, speed and heroin, when taken together with HIV medication, can lead to dangerous interactions. Some HIV drugs intensify the effects of the other drugs, increasing the threat of overdose - in some cases, this has even led to death.
So-called party drugs and heroin can also cause or increase psychological problems such as sleeplessness, depression, anxiety or confusion, especially when these problems are side effects of the HIV therapy. Damage to the nervous system caused by HIV or by HIV medication can be made worse by other drugs.
The German AIDS service organization offers extensive information about the effects and interactions of illegal drugs at www.hiv-drogen.de.