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Drugs reference index «Retrovir Capsules»

Retrovir Capsules

Generic Name: Zidovudine (zye-DOE-vyoo-deen)Brand Name: Retrovir

Severe blood problems have occurred in patients with HIV who are taking Retrovir Capsules. These problems include low white blood cell levels and severe anemia. Muscle pain or aches have occurred with long-term use of Retrovir Capsules.

High levels of lactic acid in the blood and severe liver problems have occurred in patients taking this type of medicine. These events have sometimes caused death.

Contact your doctor right away if dark urine, yellowing of the eyes or skin, stomach pain, unusual tiredness, muscle aches, fast breathing, drowsiness, fever, chills, or sore throat occurs.

Retrovir Capsules are used for:

Treating HIV infection when used along with other medicines. It is also used with other medicines to help prevent women from passing the HIV virus to the fetus during pregnancy.

Retrovir Capsules are an antiviral. It works by blocking the reproduction of the HIV virus.

Do NOT use Retrovir Capsules if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Retrovir Capsules
  • you have an enlarged liver, high lactic acid levels in the blood, or abnormal liver function tests
  • you are taking doxorubicin, ribavirin, stavudine, or any medicine that contains zidovudine

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Retrovir Capsules:

Some medical conditions may interact with Retrovir Capsules. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have bone marrow problems, low white blood cell levels, or liver or kidney problems
  • if you are very overweight

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Retrovir Capsules. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Zalcitabine because severe pancreas problems may occur
  • Fluconazole, ganciclovir, interferon alfa, probenecid, valproic acid, or any medicine that contains zidovudine because they may increase the risk of Retrovir Capsules's side effects
  • Doxorubicin, ribavirin, or stavudine because they may decrease Retrovir Capsules's effectiveness

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Retrovir Capsules may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Retrovir Capsules:

Use Retrovir Capsules as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Retrovir Capsules may be taken with or without food.
  • Use Retrovir Capsules on a regular schedule around the clock, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Continue to take Retrovir Capsules even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • It is important not to miss doses of Retrovir Capsules. If you miss a dose of Retrovir Capsules, take it as soon as your remember. If it is within 2 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Retrovir Capsules.

Important safety information:

  • Retrovir Capsules may lower your body's ability to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or other infections. Contact your doctor if any signs of infection occur, such as fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Do not take more of Retrovir Capsules than directed without checking with your doctor. Do not take Retrovir Capsules for longer than directed without checking with your doctor.
  • Retrovir Capsules are not a cure for HIV infection. You may also still have infections or other illnesses that occur along with HIV. Remain under the care of your doctor.
  • Retrovir Capsules does not prevent you from giving HIV to other people through contact with blood or through sex. Use a barrier form of birth control (eg, condoms) if you have HIV. Do not share needles, other injection supplies, or personal items (eg, toothbrush, razor).
  • Changes in body fat (eg, an increased amount of fat in the upper back, neck, breast, and trunk, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face) may occur in some patients taking Retrovir Capsules. The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, kidney function, and complete blood count, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • PREGNANT WOMEN: Retrovir Capsules may not always prevent you from passing the HIV virus to the fetus. It is unknown how Retrovir Capsules may affect the baby later in life. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • PREGNANCY AND BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Retrovir Capsules during pregnancy. Retrovir Capsules are excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Retrovir Capsules. HIV-infected mothers should not breast-feed their infants because of the risk of transmitting the HIV infection or Retrovir Capsules.

Possible side effects of Retrovir Capsules:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Headache; loss of appetite; nausea; tiredness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chills; dark urine; drowsiness; fast breathing; fever; muscle pain or aches; red, swollen, or blistered skin; seizures; shortness of breath; sore throat; stomach pain; unusual tiredness or weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include severe or persistent headache; tiredness; vomiting.

Proper storage of Retrovir Capsules:

Store Retrovir Capsules at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Retrovir Capsules out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Retrovir Capsules, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Retrovir Capsules are to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Retrovir Capsules. If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Retrovir Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Retrovir Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Retrovir Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Retrovir Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
  • Zidovudine Prescribing Information (FDA)

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