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What is Zidovudine used for?

Zidovudine is an orally administered drug indicated for the treatment of HIV. It was the first approved anti-HIV drug that belongs to a class of drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. This drug works by stopping HIV from further infecting uninfected cells in the body; thus, it slows down the progress of HIV. Zidovudine, which may be combined with other anti-HIV drugs, is also prescribed during pregnancy as it prevents transmission of HIV from mother to baby. This medicine may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

What is the recommended dosage of Zidovudine?

The dosage of Zidovudine prescribed to each patient will vary. Always folow your physician’s instructions and/or the directions on the prescription drug label.

Zidovudine can be taken on an empty stomach.

What if you miss a dose of Zidovudine?

If your physician has instructed or directed you to take Zidovudine medication in a regular schedule and you have missed a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, instead skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the doses unless otherwise directed.

It may be noted that missing doses may decrease the effectiveness of a drug. Hence, it is important not to miss doses of Zidovudine.

What if you overdose on Zidovudine?

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Some of the overdose symptoms of this drug include tiredness, vomiting, or severe persistent headache.

What other drugs could interact with Zidovudine?

It may be noted that drugs other than those listed above may also interact with Zidovudine.

Usually drug interactions occur when it is taken with another drug or with food. Before you take a medication for a particular ailment, you should inform the health expert about intake of any other medications including non-prescription medications, over-the-counter medicines that may increase the effect of Zidovudine, and dietary supplements like vitamins, minerals and herbal, so that the doctor can warn you of any possible drug interactions.

Zidovudine can interact with certain antibiotic medications.

Do let your doctor know if you smoke, consume alcohol or caffeinated drinks, or use illegal drugs as these may interfere with the action of your medication. Make sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions you may have, or any family history of medical problems. Do not start or stop using any medicine without consulting your doctor.

What are the side effects of Zidovudine?

Like other medicines, Zidovudine can cause some side effects. If they do occur, the side effects of Zidovudine are most likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and may require the individual to inform the doctor or visit the nearest hospital immediately.

It is pertinent to note that side effects of Zidovudine cannot be anticipated. If any side effects of Zidovudine develop or change in intensity, the doctor should be informed as soon as possible.

Zidovudine can cause side effects such as skin rash, dizziness, anemia, itching, headache, nervousness, nausea, stomach pain, ear pain, mouth sores, congestion, and confusion. This is not a complete list of all side effects. Do concur with your doctor and follow his directions completely when you are taking Zidovudine.

What are the questions to ask your doctor before taking Zidovudine?

Is it possible for me to take Zidovudine with other drugs?
Should certain beverages, foods and other products be avoided when I take Zidovudine?
What are the possible drug interactions of Zidovudine?
How will Zidovudine work in my body?
How should Zidovudine be taken?
How to reduce the risk of Zidovudine drug interactions and side effects?


The health and medical information provided here is intended to supplement and not substitute for the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacists or other health care professional. It should not be understood to indicate that the use of Zidovudine is safe, appropriate or effective for you. Always consult your health care professional before using this, or any other, drug. Before using Zidovudine, inform your doctor if you are pregnant or breast-feeding your baby.


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