April 27, 2017
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"On March 20, we recognize the impact of HIV/AIDS on American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. This 7th national observance is our chance to raise awareness of the risks of HIV to Native people, to help communities understand what con"...



(stavudine) Oral Administration



Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues alone or in combination, including stavudine and other antiretrovirals. Fatal lactic acidosis has been reported in pregnant women who received the combination of stavudine and didanosine with other antiretroviral agents. The combination of stavudine and didanosine should be used with caution during pregnancy and is recommended only if the potential benefit clearly outweighs the potential risk [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Fatal and nonfatal pancreatitis have occurred during therapy when ZERIT was part of a combination regimen that included didanosine in both treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients, regardless of degree of immunosuppression [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


ZERIT is the brand name for stavudine (d4T), a synthetic thymidine nucleoside analogue, active against the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The chemical name for stavudine is 2',3'-didehydro-3'-deoxythymidine. Stavudine has the following structural formula:

ZERIT® (stavudine) Structural Formula Illustration

Stavudine is a white to off-white crystalline solid with the molecular formula C10H12N2O4 and a molecular weight of 224.2. The solubility of stavudine at 23°C is approximately 83 mg/mL in water and 30 mg/mL in propylene glycol. The n-octanol/ water partition coefficient of stavudine at 23°C is 0.144.

Capsules: ZERIT is available as capsules for oral administration containing either 15, 20, 30, or 40 mg of stavudine. Each capsule also contains inactive ingredients microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, lactose, and magnesium stearate. The hard gelatin shell consists of gelatin, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides. The capsules are printed with edible inks.

Powder for Oral Solution: ZERIT is available as a dye-free, fruit-flavored powder in bottles with child-resistant closures providing 200 mL of a 1 mg/mL stavudine oral solution upon constitution with water per label instructions. The powder for oral solution contains the following inactive ingredients: methylparaben, propylparaben, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, sucrose, and antifoaming and flavoring agents.

What are the possible side effects of stavudine (Zerit)?

Stop using stavudine 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.

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;
  • feeling dizzy,...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Zerit »

What are the precautions when taking stavudine (Zerit)?

Before taking stavudine, 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: pancreatitis, kidney problems, liver problems (such as hepatitis, cirrhosis), nerve problems (such as peripheral neuropathy), alcohol use, gall bladder problems (such as gall stones).

Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may increase your risk for liver problems and/or pancreatitis.

This product may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes or any other condition that requires you to limit sugar in...

Read All Potential Precautions of Zerit »

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/2/2016
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Zerit - User Reviews

Zerit User Reviews

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