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Ziagen

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Ziagen

Ziagen

Ziagen Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Ziagen (abacavir sulfate) is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Abacavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. It is an antiviral medication. Common side effects include trouble sleeping or loss of appetite.

The recommended oral dose of Ziagen for adults is 600 mg daily, administered as either 300 mg twice daily or 600 mg once daily, in combination with other antiretroviral agents. Pediatric dose is determined by the child's weight. Ziagen may interact with methadone. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Ziagen should be used only when prescribed. HIV medicines are usually given to pregnant women with HIV. Treatment is shown to decrease the risk of HIV transmission to the baby. This drug may be part of that treatment. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.

Our Ziagen (abacavir sulfate) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Ziagen in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

  • Group 1 - fever;
  • Group 2 - rash;
  • Group 3 - nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
  • Group 4 - general tiredness, body aches;
  • Group 5 - shortness of breath, cough, sore throat.

Abacavir can cause other serious side effects that may not be signs of an allergic reaction. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • lactic acidosis - muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired;
  • liver damage - nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • severe skin symptoms - fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
  • pancreatitis - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • wheezing, trouble breathing;
  • vision changes or increased sensitivity to light;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
  • any other signs of new infection.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • sleep problems or strange dreams;
  • headache, mood changes; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Ziagen (Abacavir Sulfate) »

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Ziagen Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning and How to Use sections.

Trouble sleeping or loss of appetite may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Some people may experience worsening of a previous medical condition (such as an old infection) as their immune systems improve, or develop new conditions because their immune systems have become overactive. This reaction may occur at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unexplained weight loss, persistent muscle aches/weakness, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, severe tiredness, vision changes, severe/persistent headaches, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores), signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter), signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (such as difficulty breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, slurred speech).

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (depression, anxiety).

Changes in body fat (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs) may occur while you are taking HIV medication. The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor, as well as the possible role of exercise to reduce this side effect.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Ziagen (Abacavir Sulfate)»

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Ziagen FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)

SIDE EFFECTS

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

Serious and sometimes fatal hypersensitivity reaction. In one trial, once-daily dosing of abacavir was associated with more severe hypersensitivity reactions [see BOXED WARNING, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adults

Therapy-Naive Adults: Treatment-emergent clinical adverse reactions (rated by the investigator as moderate or severe) with a greater than or equal to 5% frequency during therapy with ZIAGEN 300 mg twice daily, lamivudine 150 mg twice daily, and efavirenz 600 mg daily compared with zidovudine 300 mg twice daily, lamivudine 150 mg twice daily, and efavirenz 600 mg daily from CNA30024 are listed in Table 2.

Table 2: Treatment-Emergent (All Causality) Adverse Reactions of at Least Moderate Intensity (Grades 2-4, ≥ 5% Frequency) in Therapy-Naive Adults (CNA30024a) Through 48 Weeks of Treatment

Adverse Reaction ZIAGEN plus Lamivudine plus Efavirenz
(n = 324)
Zidovudine plus Lamivudine plus Efavirenz
(n = 325)
Dreams/sleep disorders 10% 10%
Drug hypersensitivity 9% < 1%b
Headaches/migraine 7% 11%
Nausea 7% 11%
Fatigue/malaise 7% 10%
Diarrhea 7% 6%
Rashes 6% 12%
Abdominal pain/gastritis/ gastrointestinal signs and symptoms 6% 8%
Depressive disorders 6% 6%
Dizziness 6% 6%
Musculoskeletal pain 6% 5%
Bronchitis 4% 5%
Vomiting 2% 9%
aThis trial used double-blind ascertainment of suspected hypersensitivity reactions. During the blinded portion of the trial, suspected hypersensitivity to abacavir was reported by investigators in 9% of 324 subjects in the abacavir group and 3% of 325 subjects in the zidovudine group.
bTen (3%) cases of suspected drug hypersensitivity were reclassified as not being due to abacavir following unblinding.

Treatment-emergent clinical adverse reactions (rated by the investigator as moderate or severe) with a greater than or equal to 5% frequency during therapy with ZIAGEN 300 mg twice daily, lamivudine 150 mg twice daily, and zidovudine 300 mg twice daily compared with indinavir 800 mg 3 times daily, lamivudine 150 mg twice daily, and zidovudine 300 mg twice daily from CNA3005 are listed in Table 3.

Table 3: Treatment-Emergent (All Causality) Adverse Reactions of at Least Moderate Intensity (Grades 2-4, ≥ 5% Frequency) in Therapy-Naive Adults (CNA3005) Through 48 Weeks of Treatment

Adverse Reaction ZIAGEN plus Lamivudine/Zidovudine
(n = 262)
Indinavir plus Lamivudine/Zidovudine
(n = 264)
Nausea 19% 17%
Headache 13% 9%
Malaise and fatigue 12% 12%
Nausea and vomiting 10% 10%
Hypersensitivity reaction 8% 2%
Diarrhea 7% 5%
Fever and/or chills 6% 3%
Depressive disorders 6% 4%
Musculoskeletal pain 5% 7%
Skin rashes 5% 4%
Ear/nose/throat infections 5% 4%
Viral respiratory infections 5% 5%
Anxiety 5% 3%
Renal signs/symptoms < 1% 5%
Pain (non-site-specific) < 1% 5%

Five subjects receiving ZIAGEN in CNA3005 experienced worsening of pre-existing depression compared with none in the indinavir arm. The background rates of pre-existing depression were similar in the 2 treatment arms.

ZIAGEN Once Daily Versus ZIAGEN Twice Daily (CNA30021): Treatment-emergent clinical adverse reactions (rated by the investigator as at least moderate) with a greater than or equal to 5% frequency during therapy with ZIAGEN 600 mg once daily or ZIAGEN 300 mg twice daily, both in combination with lamivudine 300 mg once daily and efavirenz 600 mg once daily from CNA30021, were similar. For hypersensitivity reactions, subjects receiving ZIAGEN once daily showed a rate of 9% in comparison with a rate of 7% for subjects receiving ZIAGEN twice daily. However, subjects receiving ZIAGEN 600 mg once daily, experienced a significantly higher incidence of severe drug hypersensitivity reactions and severe diarrhea compared with subjects who received ZIAGEN 300 mg twice daily. Five percent (5%) of subjects receiving ZIAGEN 600 mg once daily had severe drug hypersensitivity reactions compared with 2% of subjects receiving ZIAGEN 300 mg twice daily. Two percent (2%) of subjects receiving ZIAGEN 600 mg once daily had severe diarrhea while none of the subjects receiving ZIAGEN 300 mg twice daily had this event.

Laboratory Abnormalities: Laboratory abnormalities (Grades 3-4) in therapy-naive adults during therapy with ZIAGEN 300 mg twice daily, lamivudine 150 mg twice daily, and efavirenz 600 mg daily compared with zidovudine 300 mg twice daily, lamivudine 150 mg twice daily, and efavirenz 600 mg daily from CNA30024 are listed in Table 4.

Table 4: Laboratory Abnormalities (Grades 3-4) in Therapy-Naive Adults (CNA30024) Through 48 Weeks of Treatment

Grade 3/4 Laboratory Abnormalities ZIAGEN plus Lamivudine plus Efavirenz
(n = 324)
Zidovudine plus Lamivudine plus Efavirenz
(n = 325)
Elevated CPK ( > 4 X ULN) 8% 8%
Elevated ALT ( > 5 X ULN) 6% 6%
Elevated AST ( > 5 X ULN) 6% 5%
Hypertriglyceridemia ( > 750 mg/dL) 6% 5%
Hyperamylasemia ( > 2 X ULN) 4% 5%
Neutropenia (ANC < 750/mm³) 2% 4%
Anemia (Hgb ≤ 6.9 gm/dL) < 1% 2%
Thrombocytopenia (Platelets < 50,000/mm³) 1% < 1%
Leukopenia (WBC ≤ 1,500/mm³) < 1% 2%
ULN = Upper limit of normal.
n = Number of subjects assessed.

Laboratory abnormalities in CNA3005 are listed in Table 5.

Table 5: Treatment-Emergent Laboratory Abnormalities (Grades 3-4) in CNA3005

Grade 3/4 Laboratory Abnormalities Number of Subjects by Treatment Group
ZIAGEN plus Lamivudine/Zidovudine
(n = 262)
Indinavir plus Lamivudine/Zidovudine
(n = 264)
Elevated CPK ( > 4 x ULN) 18 (7%) 18 (7%)
ALT ( > 5.0 x ULN) 16 (6%) 16 (6%)
Neutropenia ( < 750/mm³) 13 (5%) 13 (5%)
Hypertriglyceridemia ( > 750 mg/dL) 5 (2%) 3 (1%)
Hyperamylasemia ( > 2.0 x ULN) 5 (2%) 1 ( < 1%)
Hyperglycemia ( > 13.9 mmol/L) 2 ( < 1%) 2 ( < 1%)
Anemia (Hgb ≤ 6.9 g/dL) 0 (0%) 3 (1%)
ULN = Upper limit of normal.
n = Number of subjects assessed.

The frequencies of treatment-emergent laboratory abnormalities were comparable between treatment groups in CNA30021.

Pediatric Trials

Therapy-Experienced Pediatric Subjects: Treatment-emergent clinical adverse reactions (rated by the investigator as moderate or severe) with a greater than or equal to 5% frequency during therapy with ZIAGEN 8 mg/kg twice daily, lamivudine 4 mg/kg twice daily, and zidovudine 180 mg/m² twice daily compared with lamivudine 4 mg/kg twice daily and zidovudine 180 mg/m² twice daily from CNA3006 are listed in Table 6.

Table 6: Treatment-Emergent (All Causality) Adverse Reactions of at Least Moderate Intensity (Grades 2-4, ≥ 5% Frequency) in Therapy-Experienced Pediatric Subjects (CNA3006) Through 16 Weeks of Treatment

Adverse Reaction ZIAGEN plus Lamivudine plus Zidovudine
(n = 102)
Lamivudine plus Zidovudine
(n = 103)
Fever and/or chills 9% 7%
Nausea and vomiting 9% 2%
Skin rashes 7% 1%
Ear/nose/throat infections 5% 1%
Pneumonia 4% 5%
Headache 1% 5%

Laboratory Abnormalities: In CNA3006, laboratory abnormalities (anemia, neutropenia, liver function test abnormalities, and CPK elevations) were observed with similar frequencies as in a trial of therapy-naive adults (CNA30024). Mild elevations of blood glucose were more frequent in pediatric subjects receiving ZIAGEN (CNA3006) as compared with adult subjects (CNA30024).

Other Adverse Events: In addition to adverse reactions and laboratory abnormalities reported in Tables 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, other adverse reactions observed in the expanded access program were pancreatitis and increased GGT.

Postmarketing Experience

In addition to adverse reactions reported from clinical trials, the following reactions have been identified during postmarketing use of ZIAGEN. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These reactions have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to ZIAGEN.

Body as a Whole: Redistribution/accumulation of body fat.

Cardiovascular: Myocardial infarction.

Hepatic: Lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis.

Skin: Suspected Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) have been reported in patients receiving abacavir primarily in combination with medications known to be associated with SJS and TEN, respectively. Because of the overlap of clinical signs and symptoms between hypersensitivity to abacavir and SJS and TEN, and the possibility of multiple drug sensitivities in some patients, abacavir should be discontinued and not restarted in such cases.

There have also been reports of erythema multiforme with abacavir use.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Ziagen (Abacavir Sulfate) »

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Ziagen - User Reviews

Ziagen User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Ziagen sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

 

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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