Retrovir (Zidovudine)

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Generic Choice
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What is Retrovir (Zidovudine) prescribed for?

 HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. It weakens a person’s ability to fight infections. And it’s mostly contracted through unprotected sexual activity or needle sharing. Tell tale signs may include fever, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes.

This medication is used alongside other medications to help sustain and control the HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so that your immune system can function better. And it lowers the chances of getting HIV complications such as new infections and cancer, and improves your overall quality of life.

This medication is often used in pregnant woman to prevent passing the HIV virus onto the unborn baby. And it is also used in newborns that are born to mothers infected with HIV to prevent infection in newborns.

Zidovudine is not a cure for HIV. To decrease the risk of spreading the HIV disease to others, please do the following: Continue to take all of your medications on time, exactly as prescribed. Always use a condom during all sexual activity, and do not share personal items such as needles, toothbrushes, and razors.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this medication, consult with your doctor or pharmacist on the matter. Take this medication directly has prescribed, and make sure to read the instructions on the prescription label.  And if you have any concerns, speak with your medical professional.

This medication is to be taken by mouth, usually 2 to 3 a day, with or without food. Take this medication with a full  glass of water. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to you by your doctor. If you are pregnant, you may need to take this medication 5 times a day. Newborns are usually given the liquid form every 6 hours for 6 weeks after birth to prevent infection

Take this medication 2 hours before or after taking clarithromycin. Clarithromycin may prevent your body from fully absorbing zidovudine.

Remember the dosage is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment, as well as any other medications you may take.

Take this medication on a regular basis to gain the most benefit. Do not increase your dose or take it longer than what has been prescribed to you. Do not stop taking this medication. Skipping or changing your dose without your doctors approval may cause the amount of the virus to increase, therefore making the infection more difficult to treat.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic Zidovudine; or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Before taking this medication, it is for the best to inform your doctor of your Medical history, especially if you have ever had the following; kidney problems, liver problems (such as hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis), alcohol use, low red/white blood cells.

Liquid products may contain sugar. Caution is advised if you have diabetes or any other condition that requires you to limit sugar in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.

While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows;  Headache, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, or loss of appetite may occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.

As your immune system gets stronger, it can begin to fight off infections you already had, possibly causing disease symptoms to come back. You could also have symptoms if your immune system becomes overactive. This reaction may happen at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Get medical help right away if you have any serious symptoms, including: unexplained weight loss, severe tiredness, muscle aches/weakness that doesn't go away, headaches that are severe or don't go away, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, vision changes, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, 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 trouble breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, trouble speaking).

Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety, confusion), easy bruising/bleeding, skin/fingernail color changes.

Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: seizures.

Loss of body fat (such as in the face, arms, legs, and buttocks) may occur while you are taking this medication. This effect may be permanent. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in body fat.

 A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.

 

 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.

 

 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.

 

 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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