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Drugs reference index «Zidovudine»



Generic Name: Zidovudine (zye-DOE-vue-deen)Brand Name: Retrovir

Severe blood problems have occurred in patients with HIV who are taking Zidovudine . These problems include low white blood cell levels and severe anemia. Muscle pain or aches have occurred with long-term use of Zidovudine .

Lactic acidosis (buildup of an acid in the blood), a severe and sometimes fatal side effect, has been reported with this type of medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you experience extreme weakness or tiredness; unusual muscle pain; difficulty breathing; stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feeling cold, especially in the arms and legs; dizziness and lightheadedness; or fast or irregular heartbeat. Severe and sometimes fatal liver problems have been reported with this type of medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you experience yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), not feeling like eating for several days, nausea, or stomach pain.

Contact your doctor right away if fever, chills, or sore throat occurs.

Zidovudine is used for:

Treating HIV infection when used along with other medicines. It is also used with other medicines to help prevent women from passing the HIV virus to the fetus during pregnancy.

Zidovudine is an antiviral. It works by blocking the reproduction of the HIV virus.

Do NOT use Zidovudine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zidovudine
  • you have an enlarged liver, high lactic acid levels in the blood, or abnormal liver function tests
  • you are taking doxorubicin, ribavirin, stavudine, or any medicine that contains zidovudine

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

Before using Zidovudine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Zidovudine . 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 bone marrow problems, low white blood cell levels, kidney problems, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, or other liver problems
  • if you are very overweight

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

  • Zalcitabine because severe pancreas problems may occur
  • Fluconazole, ganciclovir, interferon alfa, probenecid, valproic acid, or any medicine that contains zidovudine because they may increase the risk of Zidovudine 's side effects
  • Doxorubicin, ribavirin, or stavudine because they may decrease Zidovudine 's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zidovudine 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 Zidovudine :

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

  • Zidovudine is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. If you will be using Zidovudine at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Zidovudine . Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Do not use Zidovudine if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • Use Zidovudine on a regular schedule around the clock, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Continue to use Zidovudine even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • It is important not to miss doses of Zidovudine . If you miss a dose of Zidovudine , use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

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

Important safety information:

  • Zidovudine may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or use for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • Zidovudine is not a cure for HIV infection. Patients may still get illnesses and infections associated with HIV. Remain under the care of your doctor.
  • Zidovudine 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.
  • The risk of severe side effects (eg, lactic acidosis, severe liver problems) may be greater in women, patients who are overweight (obese), and patients who have taken reverse transcriptase inhibitors (eg, emtricitabine, tenofovir) for a long time. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your risk for severe side effects from Zidovudine .
  • 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 Zidovudine . The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Zidovudine may improve immune system function. This may reveal hidden infections in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of infection (eg, fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, shortness of breath) after you start Zidovudine .
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood cell counts, may be performed while you use Zidovudine . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANT WOMEN: Zidovudine may not always prevent you from passing the HIV virus to the fetus. It is not known how Zidovudine may affect the baby later in life. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY AND BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Zidovudine while you are pregnant. Zidovudine is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Zidovudine . Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or Zidovudine to the baby.

Possible side effects of Zidovudine :

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:

Constipation; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; tiredness; vomiting; weakness.

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); dark urine; drowsiness; fast breathing; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; muscle pain or aches; red, swollen, or blistered skin; seizures; shortness of breath; stomach pain; unusual tiredness or weakness; 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 severe or persistent headache; tiredness; vomiting.

Proper storage of Zidovudine :

Zidovudine is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Zidovudine at home, store Zidovudine as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Zidovudine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zidovudine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zidovudine 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 Zidovudine . 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.

  • Zidovudine Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Zidovudine Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • zidovudine Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • zidovudine Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Retrovir Prescribing Information (FDA)

See Also...

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