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Zidovudine Brand And Generic Names

What is Zidovudine?

Warning! Zidovudine medication can cause serious damages to your liver, and also a blood related condition, known as lactic acidosis. Besides that, it also can cause some muscle disorders and anemia. Consult with your doctor prior to taking this medicine and discuss the benefits and side effects it may cause you.
The Zidovudine medication is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus infection, or the so-called HIV. Usually it is prescribed along with other medicines. This medication is also intended for pregnant women, in order to decrease the chances of passing the HIV infection to their child.
This medicine is an antiviral medication which belongs to a group of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, or also called NRTIs. The Zidovudine drug works by preventing the HIV cells from growing and multiplying in the human body, thus decreasing the amount of HIV cells in your blood.
The Zidovudine drug is not a cure for the HIV infection or for the AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome); it only helps your body fight the HIV and AIDS-related diseases and illnesses, like cancer or some serious infections, thus preventing them from attacking your immune system.
To avid spreading or transmitting the HIV virus to others via sexual contact, take this medication and choose to practice safe sex.
This medicine can be used for other purposes and to treat other conditions than the ones mentioned here. In case you need more information about this drug and its uses and benefits, consult with your doctor or ask your pharmacist.

Before taking Zidovudine

In case you need a prescription for this medication, you need to inform your doctor regarding any of the following, and you should do so before taking it or start the treatment:
  • In the event you are allergic to this medicine or to other drugs, which can be related or can be not related to the Zidovudine medication;
  • In case you have other prescriptions at the moment or you are taking other medications, vitamin, dietary supplements, herbal preparations, etc.;
  • In case you have ever had a kidney disease;
  • In the event you have liver disease, and especially in case you have hepatitis C;
  • If you have swelling of your muscles, or a muscle related disease;
  • In case you have anemia;
  • If you have bone marrow suppression;
  • In case you have an active infection;
  • In the event you have a history of alcohol abuse;
  • In case you have some of the blood related problems, for instance bleeding;
  • In case you drink alcohol, or you use to smoke a lot;
  • If you are pregnant or you have serious intentions of becoming pregnant in a short while; also if you are a breastfeeding mother.

How should Zidovudine be taken and stored?

You must take this medication exactly as your doctor prescribed it to you. Don’t make changes to your schedule or to your doses. In case you need some adjustments, talk to your physician; only he or she can increase or lower your dose and make other modifications to your treatment. If it happened so you forgot the indications your doctor gave you regarding the use of this medicine, contact him or her at once or read the prescription label.
The Zidovudine medication comes as a tablet, as a capsule, as a syrup and as an injection. The first three should be taken by mouth. Usually, this medicine is prescribed to be taken three or four times a day (in some rare case you may need to take it five times a day; consult with your health care provider).
The Zidovudine medicine, which comes as an injection, is administered intravenously. It is done so through an IV tube. Your doctor may tell you to have these injections under his or her supervision, or may tell you how to use it at home. You must use an IV tube only in case you fully understand how to use and dispose it after your injection. This medication should be mixed with a diluent and it needs to be taken within 24 hours (if you don’t take it right away, store it at the room temperature; in case you need to store it for more time, you can put it in the refrigerator and use it within 48 hours). This medication needs to be taken several times a day. You will need the injections only at the beginning of your treatment, until you are able to have and take this medication by mouth.
Remember, this medication is not taken alone. It goes in a combination with other medications prescribed for your condition. Follow all of the doctor’s instructions and don’t skip or miss the appointments.
You must store the Zidovudine medicine in the same container or pack it came, tightly closed. Keep it at the room temperature, away from moisture, direct light, excessive heat, etc. Don’t store it in the bathroom and don’t freeze the medicine.

What should I do if I missed a dose?

In case it happened so you forgot to take the necessary dose, it is recommendable to take it as soon as you remember. However, you should do so only in the event it is not almost or already time for you to have the next dose of your treatment procedure. If this is the case, you need to just skip the already forgotten dose and take only the scheduled dose. In no circumstances take two doses at once in order to make up the missed dose; if you do so, it is very likely you will suffer from an overdose.

What should I do in case of an overdose?

In the event you just have taken an overdose, you need to call the emergency room right away. Meanwhile, you can contact your health care professional as well. The symptoms of a Zidovudine overdose may include the below mentioned:
  • Vomiting;
  • Nausea;
  • Severe headache;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Unusual weakness.

Side effects of Zidovudine

The Zidovudine medication, similar to other medicines, can cause some common side effects, along with some serious side effects, and even life-threatening ones. You need to get in touch with your doctor or call the emergency room immediately in case you are experiencing any of the following:
  • Diarrhea;
  • Loose stools;
  • Pain in your stomach;
  • Dizziness;
  • Severe headache;
  • Constipation;
  • Insomnia related problems, such as difficulty sleeping;
  • Rash;
  • Swelling of your face, tongue, lips, throat and others;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Numbness in your legs and also in your arms;
  • Fast heart rate (which can be uneven as well);
  • Fever and/or chills;
  • Sores in the throat and in your mouth;
  • Pale skin;
  • Trouble concentrating;
  • Easy and unusual bruising and/or bleeding in your mouth, nose, vagina, rectum, etc.;
  • Tremors, especially in your hands;
  • Anxiety;
  • Rapid and unusual weight loss;
  • Impotence (only in case of men);
  • Decreased sexual ability;
  • Changes in your menstruation (only in case of women);
  • Problems when you walk, speak or breathe;
  • Pain in your back, especially the lower part of it;
  • Liver related issues, like itching, urine of a dark color, jaundice or pain in the upper part of your stomach;
  • Pancreatitis;
  • Pain in your joints.
The above-mentioned side effects are not all of the Zidovudine side effects which may occur during the treatment. In case you are experiencing any side effect, mentioned or not mentioned here, you need to contact your physician or call the emergency room right away in case it is an emergency.
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