Generic Name: didanosine (dye DAN oh seen)Brand Names: Videx, Videx EC
Didanosine is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Didanosine is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Didanosine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Didanosine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
There are many other medicines that can interact with didanosine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Videx (didanosine)?Didanosine can cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver or pancreas. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms while taking didanosine: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, fast heart rate, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Didanosine may also cause lactic acidosis (the build up of lactic acid in the body). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and gradually get worse. Symptoms include unusual muscle pain and weakness, trouble breathing, fast or uneven heart rate, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and numbness or cold feeling in your arms or legs. Contact your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms, even if they are only mild. Early signs of lactic acidosis generally get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Do not use this medication if you are allergic to didanosine, or if you are also taking allopurinol (Zyloprim) or ribavirin (Rebetol, Ribasphere, Copegus Virazole).
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take didanosine:
a history of pancreatitis; or
a history of peripheral neuropathy (numbness or tingling in your hands or feet).
HIV can be passed to a baby if the mother is not properly treated during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection while you are pregnant.
Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry when you start using didanosine. The purpose of this registry is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and delivery to evaluate whether didanosine had any effect on the baby.You should not breast-feed while you are using didanosine. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk.
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Didanosine can be taken with or without food.Take didanosine with a full glass of water. Take didanosine on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal. This will make it easier for your body to absorb the medicine. Do not crush, chew, break, or open a delayed-release capsule (Videx EC). Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. Certain HIV medications or antibiotics should not be taken at the same time as didanosine because they can affect the levels of this medicine in your blood stream:
ciprofloxacin (Cipro) should be taken at least 2 hours before or 6 hours after you take didanosine.
delavirdine (Rescriptor) or indinavir (Crixivan) should be taken at least 1 hour before you take didanosine.
nelfinavir (Viracept) should be taken at least 1 hour after you take didanosine.
itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral) should be taken at least 2 hours before you take didanosine.
To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.Store this medication at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from moisture and heat. Store the liquid form of didanosine in the refrigerator. The liquid is good for 30 days after it is mixed at the pharmacy. Throw away any leftover didanosine liquid that is more than 30 days old.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at your next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Avoid using antacids without your doctor's advice while taking didanosine. Use only the specific type of antacid your doctor recommends.Avoid drinking alcohol while taking didanosine. Alcohol may increase the risk of damage to the pancreas and/or liver. Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes. Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.
liver damage - nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
lactic acidosis - muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, nausea with vomiting, and fast or uneven heart rate;
pancreatitis - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
peripheral neuropathy - numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet;
problems with vision, increased sensitivity to light;
fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
any other signs of new infection.
Less serious side effects may include:
mild stomach pain, diarrhea;
weak feeling; or
changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Before taking didanosine, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
hydroxyurea (Droxie, Hydrea);
methadone (Dolophine, Methadose);
antibiotics such as tetracycline (Brodspec, Panmycin, Sumycin), doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin), or minocycline (Minocin); or
antibiotics such as levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), or norfloxacin (Noroxin).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with didanosine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.