"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"...
Ziagen Patient Information including How Should I Take
In this Article
- What is abacavir (Ziagen)?
- What are the possible side effects of abacavir (Ziagen)?
- What is the most important information I should know about abacavir (Ziagen)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking abacavir (Ziagen)?
- How should I take abacavir (Ziagen)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Ziagen)?
- What happens if I overdose (Ziagen)?
- What should I avoid while taking abacavir (Ziagen)?
- What other drugs will affect abacavir (Ziagen)?
- Where can I get more information?
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking abacavir (Ziagen)?
Do not take this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine that contains abacavir, including Ziagen, Epzicom, or Trizivir. Once you have had an allergic reaction to abacavir, you must never use it again.
Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking abacavir. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, if you are a woman, or if you have taken HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
Abacavir can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver. You should not take abacavir if you have moderate or severe liver disease.
Do not take abacavir with any other medication that contains abacavir, such as Epzicom or Trizivir.
To make sure you can safely take abacavir, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- heart disease, high blood pressure;
- liver disease;
- a risk factor for heart disease such as smoking, diabetes, or high cholesterol; or
- if you have used an HIV medication in the past, such as didanosine (Videx), emtricitabine (Atripla, Complera, Emtriva, Truvada), lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, Trizivir), stavudine (Zerit), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), or zidovudine (Retrovir).
You may need a blood test before you start taking abacavir for the first time, or if you are restarting the medication after stopping for reasons not related to an allergic reaction.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether abacavir will harm an unborn baby. HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of abacavir on the baby.
Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.
How should I take abacavir (Ziagen)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Abacavir can be taken with or without food.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Abacavir comes with a Medication Guide and a Warning Card that lists the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Read this information carefully and carry the Warning Card with you at all times so you will know what symptoms to watch for.
Use abacavir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.
To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
You may store the oral solution (liquid) in the refrigerator but do not let it freeze.
Additional Ziagen Information
- Ziagen Drug Interactions Center: abacavir oral
- Ziagen Side Effects Center
- Ziagen Overview including Precautions
- Ziagen FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
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