"Nov. 27, 2012 -- Every month, 1,000 more young Americans ages 13 to 24 get an incurable infection that's deadly unless held at bay by daily doses of costly drugs -- and many of them don't even know it.
That infection is HIV, the virus"...
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Details with Side Effects
RISK OF HEMATOLOGICAL TOXICITY, MYOPATHY, LACTIC ACIDOSIS
Hematologic Toxicity: RETROVIR® (zidovudine) Tablets, Capsules, and Syrup have been associated with hematologic toxicity including neutropenia and severe anemia, particularly in patients with advanced HIV-1 disease [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Myopathy: Prolonged use of RETROVIR has been associated with symptomatic myopathy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Lactic Acidosis and Severe Hepatomegaly: Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues alone or in combination, including RETROVIR and other antiretrovirals. Suspend treatment if clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity occur [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
RETROVIR is the brand name for zidovudine (formerly called azidothymidine [AZT]), a pyrimidine nucleoside analogue active against HIV-1. The chemical name of zidovudine is 3'- azido-3'-deoxythymidine; it has the following structural formula:
Zidovudine is a white to beige, odorless, crystalline solid with a molecular weight of 267.24 and a solubility of 20.1 mg/mL in water at 25°C. The molecular formula is C10H13N5O4.
RETROVIR Tablets are for oral administration. Each film-coated tablet contains 300 mg of zidovudine and the inactive ingredients hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide.
RETROVIR Capsules are for oral administration. Each capsule contains 100 mg of zidovudine and the inactive ingredients corn starch, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and sodium starch glycolate. The 100-mg empty hard gelatin capsule, printed with edible black ink, consists of black iron oxide, dimethylpolysiloxane, gelatin, pharmaceutical shellac, soya lecithin, and titanium dioxide.
RETROVIR Syrup is for oral administration. Each mL of RETROVIR Syrup contains 10 mg of zidovudine and the inactive ingredients sodium benzoate 0.2% (added as a preservative), citric acid, flavors, glycerin, and liquid sucrose. Sodium hydroxide may be added to adjust pH.
What are the possible side effects of zidovudine (Retrovir)?
Stop using this medication and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:
- liver damage - nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- lactic acidosis - muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, nausea with vomiting, and fast or uneven heart...
What are the precautions when taking zidovudine (Retrovir)?
Before taking zidovudine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, liver problems (such as hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis), alcohol use, low red/white blood cells.
Liquid products may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes or any other condition that requires you to limit sugar in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.
Before having surgery, tell your doctors or dentist about all the products you use (including...
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/21/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Retrovir Information
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