"The number of pregnant and breastfeeding women in Malawi with HIV who started life-saving antiretroviral treatment increased by more than 700 percent in one year, according to a study in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The "...
RISK OF HEMATOLOGICAL TOXICITY, MYOPATHY, LACTIC ACIDOSIS
RETROVIR® (zidovudine) tablets, capsules, syrup, and injection have been associated with hematologic toxicity including neutropenia and severe anemia, particularly in patients with advanced HIV-1 disease [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
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 per 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.
RETROVIR injection is a sterile solution for IV infusion only. Each mL contains 10 mg zidovudine in water for injection. Hydrochloric acid and/or sodium hydroxide may have been added to adjust the pH to approximately 5.5. RETROVIR injection contains no preservatives. The vial stoppers for RETROVIR injection contain natural rubber latex.
What are the possible side effects of zidovudine (Retrovir)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
This medication may cause lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and get worse over time. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or...
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: 1/20/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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