Table of Contents > Drug > Zidovudine Print

Zidovudine

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Retrovir®
    • Brand Names: Canada: Apo-Zidovudine®;AZTT;Novo-AZT;Retrovir®;Retrovir® (AZTT)
    • Mexican Brand Names: Retrovir-AZT;Timivudin
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antiretroviral Agent, Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (Nucleoside)

    Uses
    • It is used to treat HIV infection.
    • Zidovudine works to harm the virus and fight the infection.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
    • Use as you have been told, even if you are feeling better.
    • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • There is a liquid if you cannot swallow pills.
    • Those who have feeding tubes may also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.
    • Shot:
    • It is given as a shot into a vein.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
    • Do not change the dose or stop this drug. Talk with the doctor.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect capsules and tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
    • Shot:
    • This drug will be given to you in a hospital or doctor's office. You will not store it at home.

    Safety



    Warnings

    • This drug may cause unsafe changes in blood cell count, very bad liver problems, or a change in acid levels in the blood. This drug may cause muscle aches and stiffness if it is used for long periods of time. Closely read the part in this leaflet which lists when to call your doctor.
    • Unsafe side effects may happen. This drug cannot be taken while you are taking some other drugs. Check all the drugs you are taking with your doctor.

    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to zidovudine or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

    Precautions

    • Do not run out of this drug.
    • If you have liver disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Have your blood work checked often. Talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • To protect from diseases caused by having sex, use a latex condom.
    • Use birth control that you can trust to stop pregnancy in HIV disease.
    • Do not breast-feed if you have HIV disease and live in the U.S.

    Side Effects

    • Anemia and low white blood cell count.
    • Headache.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very loose stools.
    • Not able to eat.
    • Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes.
    • Feeling very tired or weak.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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