What are the side effects of abacavir

HIV is a virus which can live in sexual discharges, mother’s milk and in blood. This virus is known to impair your immunity; so, those who are affected by it may find it tough to fight infections caused by microbes. You may get it when you engage in unsafe sexual practices and if you share needles. This virus causes a condition called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Several meds are available for the management of AIDS. Of such meds, abacavir is a widely used drug. But, can it cause any side effects? It is essential to know of its adverse effects.

HIV infections spread through bodily fluids, especially while you are engaging in anal or vaginal sex. Those who use dirtied needles for tattooing / piercing or while administering drugs are at a higher risk of getting it. The virus cannot live in open surfaces like say, chairs, locks or door chains. As of 2022, the count of people with HIV is estimated at 38 million; of these, about 1.9 million are children. Timely start of treatment is known to restrict the spread of infections in your body.

What is abacavir?

This drug is administered for control infections caused by HIV. Active chemicals of abacavir help reduce the virus and thus enhance the immunity level of your system. In short, the drug helps prevent further complications like cancers or fresh spells of infections; thus, it can enhance the quality of your life. Abacavir is categorised under a genre of meds called nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibiting drugs (or NRTIs). You may however need to know that this med is not a cure for AIDS or infections caused by HIV.

Abacavir is taken orally; you may take it either before or after a meal. It is also sold as a suspension (syrup / liquid form). Liquid doses need to be carefully administered. It is a safe practice to use the measuring spoon/ladle provided along with the pack. Never use a spoon or ladle from your kitchen; this can lead to incorrect measurements.

What are the side effects of abacavir?

Abacavir may cause a few discomforts and side effects. These include a marked drop in appetite-levels, inability to fall asleep, etc. Also, when your immune cells tend to become stronger, your system starts fighting the infections that are already active. Owing to this, your immunity may turn hyperactive; in this light, you may witness a few side effects like acute spells of weakness or tiredness, inexplicable loss of body weight, painful muscles, etc. These are serious discomforts, and need to be reported to your treating doctor without delay.

Also, if you experience persistent episodes of migraines, painful joints, numbing of fingers, blurring of eyesight, symptoms of hyperactive thyroid gland, etc., your caregiving team must be updated of all these acute signs. Those who experience mood-related changes, depression or hallucinations must seek needful clinical support on a top priority mode.

In some overweight (obese) patients as well as among a few women abacavir can cause liver-based problems; as a rare phenomenon, some may see an accumulation of lactic acids in your bloodstream (a condition called lactic acidosis). Some of the distinct signs of a build-up of lactic acid are faster breathing cycles, being drowsy and a few abdominal problems like vomiting, nausea, etc.

Typical signs of hepatic problems are yellowing of skin, eyes and darkening of urine. You may also witness persistent episodes of vomiting and nausea. It is also likely to experience a severe pain in your abdomen. Upon sensing any of these signs, you are advised to go to a local hospital/clinic on an emergency basis. Users of abacavir in the US – upon developing any of these side effects – must call, and those in Canada must reach out to Health Canada. It is also a safe practice to rush to a poison control unit that functions closer to where you reside.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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