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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)?
Some people have developed 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 certain 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 the liver. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms while taking abacavir: nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Do not use abacavir if you have moderate or severe liver disease, or if you are also taking any other medication that contains abacavir, such as Epzicom, or Trizivir.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take abacavir:
- liver disease; or
- if you have used a medicine similar to abacavir in the past, such as didanosine (Videx), lamivudine (Combivir, 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 is harmful to an unborn baby. HIV can be passed to the baby if the mother is 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 while you are pregnant.
Your name may need to be listed on a pregnancy registry if you become pregnant while taking this medication. The purpose of this registry is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and delivery to evaluate whether abacavir had any effect on the baby.
You should not breast-feed while you are using abacavir. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk.
How should I take abacavir (Ziagen)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the instructions 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 the liquid form of abacavir with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.
This medicine 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.
It is important to take abacavir regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescriptions refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Store abacavir 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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