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Drugs reference index «Zerit»



Generic Name: Stavudine (STAV-ue-deen)Brand Name: Zerit

Severe, even fatal, liver and metabolic problems, such as lactic acidosis, have occurred in patients using Zerit . Fatal lactic acidosis has also occurred when Zerit was used in combination with didanosine and other medicines used to treat HIV during pregnancy. Rare cases of muscle weakness or paralysis have occurred, especially in patients with lactic acidosis. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal or stomach pain, rapid or difficult breathing, drowsiness, muscle aches, or weakness. When used in combination with certain medicines, pancreatitis (sometimes fatal) has occurred on rare occasions. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop severe stomach or abdominal pain.

Zerit is used for:

Treating HIV infection when used in combination with other medicines.

Zerit is a nucleoside analogue antiviral. It blocks the growth of HIV.

Do NOT use Zerit if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zerit
  • you are taking zidovudine
  • you are taking didanosine or hydroxyurea
  • you have an enlarged liver or lactic acidosis

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Zerit :

Some medical conditions may interact with Zerit . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney or liver problems, abnormal liver function tests, diabetes, inflammation of the pancreas, gallstones, or problems with tingling or numbness in your hands or feet, or if you drink alcohol

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Zerit . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Didanosine because the risk of side effects, including lactic acidosis, inflammation of the pancreas, or numbness or tingling of the hands or feet, may be increased
  • Didanosine, hydroxyurea, interferon, or ribavirin because the risk of severe and sometimes fatal liver problems may be increased
  • Methadone or zidovudine because they may decrease Zerit 's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zerit may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Zerit :

Use Zerit as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Zerit . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take Zerit by mouth with or without food.
  • Continue to take Zerit even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Zerit , take it as soon as possible. If it is within 2 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zerit .

Important safety information:

  • Zerit does not stop the spread of HIV to others through blood or sexual contact. Use barrier methods of birth control (eg, condoms) if you have HIV infection. Do not share needles, injection supplies, or items like toothbrushes or razors.
  • Zerit is not a cure for HIV infection. Patients may still get illnesses and infections associated with HIV. Remain under the care of your doctor.
  • When your medicine supply is low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can. Do not stop taking Zerit , even for a short period of time. If you do, the virus may grow resistant to the medicine and become harder to treat.
  • Changes in body fat (eg, an increased amount of fat in the upper back, neck, breast, and trunk, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face) may occur in some patients taking Zerit . The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Diabetes patients - Zerit may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
  • Lab tests, including liver and kidney function tests, may be performed while you use Zerit . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: It is not known if Zerit can cause harm to the fetus. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Zerit while you are pregnant. It is not known if Zerit is found in breast milk. Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or Zerit to the baby.

Possible side effects of Zerit :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Changes in body fat; constipation; diarrhea; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chills; dark urine; fever; lactic acid imbalance (general body discomfort, cold feeling, dizziness, lightheadedness, slow or irregular heartbeat); muscle aches or weakness; numbness, tingling, or pain in hands or feet; rapid breathing; severe or persistent nausea and vomiting; shortness of breath; sore throat; stomach pain; sudden weight loss; symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, increased thirst or urination, confusion, unusual drowsiness); unusual tiredness or weakness; weakness in the arms or legs; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include numbness or tingling in the hands or feet; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Proper storage of Zerit :

Store Zerit at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Zerit out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zerit , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zerit is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Zerit . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Zerit Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Zerit Consumer Overview
  • Zerit Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Zerit Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Stavudine Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)

See Also...

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