2 Sept 2010 – Last year, OMSJ identified the HIV drug Sustiva (Efavirenz) as little more than a highly addictive anti-retroviral (ARV) placebo that, when interrupted, produces withdrawal symptoms that AIDS clinicians routinely use to misdiagnose the onset of AIDS.
- Fever (hyperpyrexia)
- Soaking night sweats
- Shaking chills or fever higher than 100 F for several weeks
- Sore throat
- Cough and shortness of breath
- Skin rashes or bumps
- Chronic diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Persistent, unexplained fatigue
- Blurred and distorted vision
In drug trials involving 202 patients, Sustiva (Efavirenz) was found to cause the following adverse events (AE):
- Diarrhea (41.4%)
- Nausea (35.7%)
- Upper respiratory tract infection (27.6%)
- Headache (25.2%)
- Fatigue (23.3%)
- Pain (22.4%)
- Influenza-like symptoms (21.0%)
Diarrhea (30.0%) and nausea (29.0%) were the most frequent AEs evaluated as treatment-related as per the investigators.
- Nineteen subjects discontinued treatment primarily due to one or more AEs according to investigators.
- One patient died approximately 13 months after starting treatment.
- Grade 3 (severe) and/or Grade 4 (maximal) AEs occurred in 86 subjects (41.0%; Grade 3: 54, 25.7%; Grade 4: 32, 15.2%).
- The most frequently reported Grade 3 and Grade 4 AEs were associated with clinical laboratory abnormalities (increased creatine phosphokinase [7.1%], hypertriglyceridemia [6.2%], increased GGT [3.8%], increased amylase [2.9%], bilirubinemia [2.9%], albuminuria [2.4%]), and nausea (2.4%).
Nervous system symptoms, as defined by the sponsor, are of particular interest in subjects receiving efavirenz and include the following: confusion, dizziness, stupor, amnesia, agitation, depersonalization, euphoria, hallucinations, insomnia, somnolence, thinking abnormal, concentration impaired, and dreaming abnormal. In this study, 104 subjects (49.5%) reported a nervous system symptom (see videos below).
Dizziness (19.5%), insomnia (14.8%), and somnolence (11.4%) were reported most frequently. All of the nervous system symptoms were evaluated as mild or moderate, with the exception of one patient with Grade 3 (severe) somnolence, one patient with Grade 3 (severe) confusion, and one patient with Grade 4 (maximal) amnesia. Five subjects permanently discontinued treatment, at least in part, for nervous system symptoms. Three subjects discontinued for dizziness; one patient discontinued for dizziness, insomnia, and hallucination; and one patient discontinued for dizziness and confusion.
Drug Pushers Threaten Patients
When HIV clinicians identify these signs when patients complain of side effects or withdrawal, they typically inform patients that the symptoms are related to HIV or “the onset of AIDS.” Some clinicians get angry, warning that unless they resume treatment of Sustiva drugs (like Atripla) “they will be dead within months.” When terrified patients resume their addiction, some of the symptoms subside – leading many to believe that the drug is staving off the effects of AIDS rather than perpetuating a physician-caused addiction.
Although OMSJ was on to the Sustiva scam last year, our researchers did not recognize the active components until this week when they discovered that a variety of benzodiazepine antibodies react with the Sustiva metabolite 8-hydroxy efavirenz.
OMSJ determined that use and withdrawal from addictive drugs like cocaine, alcohol, heroin, tobacco THC and benzodiazepine all suppress immune function. Because smokers, alcoholics and junkies understand the lifesaving properties of a cigarette, martini or cough syrup after a week of abstinence, it’s hard to imagine how Harvard Professor Daniel Kuritzkes MD “didn’t know” that Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) scientists manipulated benzodiazepine in HIV drugs for the same reasons that Big Tobacco scientists manipulate nicotine levels in cigarettes. And while the Justice Department lists marijuana and benzodiazepine as controlled substances, Sustiva isn’t listed.
Years before Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) began pushing Sustiva (Efavirenz) in 1998, studies showed that benzodiazepines (BDZ) compromised immune function in sheep (1982) and mice (1988). In 1987, Arora (et al) found that a single dose of what they called “benzodiazepine receptor inverse agonists” caused “a profound suppression of the immune response” in humans.
One clue came in 2006, when researchers discovered that Sustiva produced urine samples that screen positive for marijuana and hashish (THC – see Blank, Roder and Rossi). Kuritzkes and BMS failed to disclose the highly addictive and psychotropic properties of Sustiva, marketing the poison as an ARV. They knew, or should have known, how Benzodiazepine receptors (GABAA) interact with Sustiva (8-hydroxy efavirenz) and how Sustiva causes effects very similar to benzodiazepines like Xanax, Rohypnol and DMCM.
Although BMS marketers may attribute this to “Sustiva inhibiting cytochrome P450 enzymes that metabolize the benzodiazepines,” the 8-hydroxy metabolite acts like a benzodiazepine. And like Big Tobacco’s manipulation of nicotine levels, benzodiazepines would dramatically increase Sustiva’s effect and toxicity.
Although Etifoxine (benzoxizone or BZX) is structurally different from benzodiazepines (BDZ), BZX binds to the same receptor site (GABAA) that binds with BDZ; producing many of the same highly addictive psychotropic reactions produced by BDZ. By using BZX as the active ingredient in HIV drugs, pharmaceutical companies are able to market a drug that delivers all of the highly addictive immune-compromising reactions without the use of BDZ. That, of course would be illegal and inconsistent with medical “standards of care.” But doctors who wouldn’t prescribe BDZ freely prescribe BZX.
Sustiva, T-cells and Immune Function
BMS pushed Sustiva as an HIV drug that lowers viral loads and increases T-cell counts, researchers attribute these changes to the redistribution of CD4 T-cells from lymphoid tissues during the first few weeks of drug use (see also Pakker, Andersson and Hazenberg). These papers show anti-HIV drugs do not increase the production of CD4 by suppressing HIV but by changing the relative amounts of T-cells in lymphatic tissue and blood.
Consider this analogy: In peacetime most soldiers are located within military bases and not throughout the general population. But when a disaster occurs, soldiers leave the bases and swarm towards attacked sites. While the absolute number of soldiers has not changed, where you find them has.
HAART treatment causes CD4 cells residing in lymphatic tissue to be released into the blood. That’s why the number of CD4 cells, as well as most other immune cells, increases after taking the drugs. This is a non-specific toxic effect of the drugs. The same thing occurs during chemotherapy for cancer.
A similar but opposite effect of HAART is its inhibition of the production of mRNA (messenger RNA). This explains the reduction in RNA “viral load” results after a person takes HAART (see Bucy & Andersson).
Sound far-fetched? While OMSJ found no “smoking gun” related to the deliberate manufacture and sale of highly addictive psychotropic drugs under the pretext of HIV medication, the fact that the pharmaceutical industry has paid $8 billion (since 2004) to settle thousands of criminal and civil complaints related to the illegal marketing of drugs that cause thousands of preventable injuries and deaths suggests otherwise. Heavily distributed in Africa, the taxpayer-funded drug is a win for both junkies who smoke it like crystal meth and AIDS scientists whose research is funded by clinicians who identify the drug symptoms as AIDS.
When companies like Pfizer, GSK and Astra Zeneca illegally push drugs that generate $Billions annually, a few million-dollar fines become nothing more than “business expenses” that are routinely passed along to taxpayers and insurance companies.
BMS licenses Sustiva to Gilead Sciences, the maker of Atripla. Both BMS and Gilead are the subject of whistleblower lawsuits that accuse them of paying kickbacks to doctors who unnecessarily prescribe their drugs - including Atripla.
For information on other HIV drugs and the diseases they cause, visit OMSJ’s Drug/Disease Matrix.
Addicts smoke Sustiva (efavirenz) like crack
See how the “HIV Experts” explain HIV testing
In their own words, see how AIDS drugs harm patients
AIDS scientists explain the marketing of AIDS
AIDS discoverer and Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier explains that AIDS drugs are pushed because the pharmaceutical industry cannot profit from selling nutritious food or clean water
OMSJ’s HIV Innocence Project defends those who are falsely charged with HIV-related crimes based upon questionable treatments like HAART. For as little as $5 a month, your donation helps to defray our costs.
Tags: 8-hydroxy efavirenz, addiction, AIDS, ARV, Atripla, benzodiazepine, BMS, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CD4, Daniel Kuritzkes MD, efavirenz, HAART, HIV, HIV Innocence Project, immune, P450 enzymes, Sustiva, Tobacco, withdrawal