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RETROVIR IV
ZIDOVUDINE - INJECTION

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

ZIDOVUDINE - INJECTION

(zye-DOE-view-deen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Retrovir

WARNING: Rarely, this medication has caused severe (sometimes fatal) liver and blood problems (e.g., lactic acidosis, granulocytopenia, anemia), especially in people with advanced HIV infection. Prolonged use of zidovudine has caused muscle aches similar to those produced by HIV. Notify your doctor immediately if you have dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal or stomach pain, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, rapid breathing, drowsiness, or symptoms of an infection such as persistent fever or sore throat.

Uses

This medication is used in the management of HIV infections in symptomatic adults. This is not a cure for HIV infections.

How To Use

This medication is given by injection by a health care professional. It is usually infused slowly into a vein over a period of 1 hour every 4 hours. For best results, take each dose at evenly spaced intervals around the clock. This will ensure a constant level of medication in your blood.

Side Effects

This medication may cause nausea, stomach upset, headache, insomnia, sweating, dizziness, altered taste, muscle aches. If these symptoms continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop: skin rash, fever, flu-like symptoms, chest pain, breathing trouble, swelling of the feet or ankles, unusual bleeding or bruising, yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, breathing trouble. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor of any illness you may have had such as: liver or kidney disease, heart disease, major injury/surgery/infection, alcohol usage, blood or bleeding disorders, any allergies. This medication should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This drug is known to be excreted into breast milk. Avoid breast-feeding to prevent transmission of HIV to a child that may not be infected.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take especially of: ganciclovir, ribavirin, fluconazole, interferon, methadone, valproic acid, probenecid, rifamycins, acetaminophen, aspirin, cimetidine, indomethacin, lorazepam, oxazepam, phenytoin, amphotericin B, co-trimoxazole, dapsone, doxorubicin, flucytosine, pentamidine, atovaquone, drugs that suppress the bone marrow (such as vinblastine or vincristine). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion.

Notes

This medication is usually administered initially in the hospital where your condition can be monitored closely. Laboratory tests will be done periodically to be sure the drug is working properly and to monitor for possible side effects.

Missed Dose

It is important to use each dose at the scheduled time. If you miss a dose, use the next dose as soon as remembered and skip the missed dose. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store this medication in the refrigerator as directed. Properly discard of any unused medication after the expiration date.

Medical Alert

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (USA), or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).