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What is this medication?

Zidovudine, Retrovir
Antiretroviral, Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor, Nucleoside (Anti-HIV)

Zidovudine, Retrovir is indicated for HIV-1 infection treatment; Perinatal HIV-1 transmission prevention

How does this medication work?

Zidovudine, Retrovir acts as a thymidine analog which inhibits HIV viral RNA-dependent DNA polymerase resulting in halted of viral replication.  It also acts as a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor.

How should I take this medication?

Prevention of perinatal HIV transmission: 
Oral: Loading dose of 600 mg, then 400 mg every 3 hours

HIV-1 infection treatment:
 300 mg twice daily

How to Take: Patients should receive IV therapy only until oral therapy can be administered. Use in combination with other antiretroviral agents. Infuse over 1 hour; in pregnant women, infuse loading dose over 1 hour followed by continuous infusion. Administer without regard to meals.

You Need to Avoid:  Significant drug interactions exist, requiring dose/frequency adjustment or avoidance so avoid starting any new medications without consulting prescriber.   Avoid rapid infusion or bolus injection. Do not administer IM. 

What should I watch for while using this medication?

Before starting Zidovudine, Retrovir make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, if you have hepatic impairment, renal impairment, are pregnant, or breastfeeding. Zidovudine, Retrovir use has been associated with rare but serious adverse events such as hematologic toxicity, immune reconstitution syndrome, lactic acidosis, hepatomegaly, lipoatrophy, and myopathy.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible.  However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose.  Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times.  Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C).  Protect from light.  Keep the container tightly closed.  Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Headache, malaise, skin rash, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, macrocytosis, anemia, hepatomegaly, cough, fever

Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only the most common