Why is this medication prescribed?
Zidovudine is used along with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Zidovudine is given to HIV-positive pregnant women to reduce the chance of passing the infection to the baby. It works by decreasing the amount of HIV in the blood. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other life-style changes may decrease the risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to other people.
How should this medicine be used?
Zidovudine comes as a capsule, tablet, and syrup to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day by adults and two to three times a day by infants and children. Infants 6 weeks of age and younger may take zidovudine every 6 hours.
Your doctor may temporarily stop your treatment if you experience serious side effects.
Other uses for this medicine
Zidovudine is also used along with other medications in certain situations to treat healthcare workers and other individuals exposed to HIV infection after accidental contact with HIV-contaminated blood, (&nmp) tissues, or other body fluids. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking zidovudine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to zidovudine, any other medications, or any of the other ingredients in zidovudine products. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: chemotherapy medications for cancer, doxorubicin (Doxil), ganciclovir (Cytovene), interferon alfa, ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, Ribasphere), and stavudine (Zerit). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Zidovudine may cause side effects.
- stomach pain or cramps
- diarrhea (especially in children)
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
If you experience symptom,
- blistering or peeling of the skin
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, lips, or throat