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AIDS Treatment Data Network
(ATDN) Treatment for weight loss, tuberculosis and AIDS?

November 1, 1995
Treatment Review No. 20; November 1995

The drug thalidomide, which is known to have led to the birth of hundreds of seriously deformed babies around the world, is now being tested as an anti-HIV drug, a weight loss treatment, an immune system regulator, a tuberculosis treatment supplement, and a treatment for microsporidiosis. It is also an effective sleeping pill. Recent studies have also shown thalidomide is an effective treatment for aphthous ulcers, the painful sores that can form on the tongue and other tissues in the mouth (possibly as the result of taking an anti-HIV drug). This drug still has the potential to cause serious birth defects. The decision to use thalidomide obviously requires careful consideration, and consultation with a medical professional. There are currently four clinical trials for different uses (indications) now enrolling, and an Expanded Access program for the drug. Two buyers' clubs in the United States, PWA Health Group in New York City at (212) 255-0520 and the Healing Alternatives Foundation in San Francisco at (415) 626-4053 are importing the drug from Brazil where it is widely used for the treatment of leprosy. The Network has a Simple Fact Sheet about the drug, its possible uses, and how to get it (English or Spanish). Call the Network at (800) 734-7104 for the Simple Fact Sheet.

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