Retrovir belongs to the class of antiretroviral medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). It works by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply. This drug is used with other medications to help control your HIV infection, thereby improving your quality of life. It may also lower your risk of complications from HIV (such as new infections, cancers). Retrovir is also given during pregnancy to prevent an HIV-infected woman from passing the virus to her baby. Zidovudine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. This medication may also be used to prevent HIV infection after contact with the virus.
Take Retrovir exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The recommended dose when treating adults (age 18 years and older) with HIV or AIDS is 200 mg three times daily or 300 mg twice daily. For children aged 3 months to 12 years the dosage is based on body size. The maximum dose for children in this age range is 200 mg three times daily (or 300 mg twice daily). If you have kidney disease, your doctor may recommend a lower dosage. Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water. You can take Retrovir with or without food. Take this medication 2 hours before or after taking clarithromycin. Clarithromycin may prevent your body from fully absorbing zidovudine.
Before taking Retrovir you should talk with your doctor if you have anemia, neutropenia, or any other low blood count or blood disorder, liver disease, liver failure, cirrhosis, hepatitis, kidney disease, kidney failure, bone marrow suppression. Retrovir may cause or worsen pancreatitis. Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase the risk of damage to the liver. Taking zidovudine will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people through unprotected sex or sharing of needles.
Do not take Retrovir if you are allergic to zidovudine or any ingredients of the medication, or if you have a very low number of white or red blood cells in the bloodstream. Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Possible side effect
Get emergency medical help if you have changes in skin colour, dizziness, headache, heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle aches, trouble sleeping, vomiting, abdominal pain, confusion, numbness, low red blood cells, pale skin, weakness, changes in weight, thoughts of suicide, dark urine, fever, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of appetite, pale stools, yellowing of the skin or eyes, rapid heart rate, back pain, chills, rapid heartbeat, swelling of the face and throat. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor.
Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially: atovaquone, fluconazole, methadone, rifampin, ritonavir, phenytoin, valproic acid, vinblastine, vincristine, ganciclovir, dapsone, cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, atovaquone, azathioprine, nelfinavir, interferon-alfa. This medication must not be taken with other medications that contain zidovudine. Interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking.
Take the missed dose as soon as possible. Skip the missed dose if it is time for your next scheduled dose. Don't take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
If you think you have overdosed the medicine seek emergency medical help at once. The overdose symptoms are extreme drowsiness, tiredness, confusion, seizures, headache, nausea.
Store the medicine at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store the drugs in the bathroom. Keep all drugs away from reach of children and pets.
The information presented at the site has a general character. Note please this information cannot be used for self-treatment and self diagnosis. You should consult with your doctor or health care adviser regarding any specific instructions of your condition. The information is reliable, but we concede it could contain mistakes. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other damage caused by use of this information on the site and also for consequences of self-treatment.
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