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Didanosine oral

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.




WARNING: Infrequently, didanosine can cause severe (sometimes fatal) side effects such as inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), blood problems (lactic acidosis) or liver problems. Fatal lactic acidosis has also occurred during pregnancy when this medication was used in combination with stavudine and other drugs used to treat HIV. Stop using this drug and notify your doctor immediately if you develop stomach or abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, rapid breathing, dizziness, feeling cold (low body temperature), yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine. Your doctor must determine whether or not you have pancreatitis before restarting didanosine.


Didanosine is used, along with other medications, to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Decreasing the amount of HIV in your body helps reduce complications, such as infections (opportunistic types such as pneumocystis pneumonia). This product does not cure HIV.

How To Use

Take this medication by mouth usually once daily on a empty stomach; or take as directed by your doctor. Do not crush or chew this medication. Swallow the capsule(s) whole.

Side Effects

Headache, rash, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: stomach pain, tingling or numbness of the hands/feet, vision problems, joint pain (especially in the big toe), muscle pain, severe drowsiness, chills, rapid breathing. Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (e.g., increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor, as well as the possible role of exercise to reduce this side effect. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: yellowing eyes or skin, dark urine, fatigue, fever. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially: pancreatitis, kidney problems, liver problems, nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy), any allergies you may have (especially to other HIV medication). Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may increase your risk for liver problems and/or pancreatitis. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.

Drug Interactions

This drug should not be used with the following medications because very serious interactions may occur: allopurinol, ribavirin. If you are currently using any of these medications, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting didanosine. Tell your doctor of all prescription and nonprescription medication you may use, especially: other HIV medications (e.g., stavudine, zalcitabine), hydroxyurea, methadone, tenofovir, ganciclovir, pentamidine, sulfa drugs (e.g., sulfamethoxazole, sulfisoxazole), vitamin products. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include tingling, burning, or numbness in hands or feet; diarrhea; yellowing of skin or eyes; dark urine or pale stools; unusual fatigue; or severe stomach pain with nausea or vomiting.


This medication does not cure HIV. Patients treated with this medication may continue to acquire "opportunistic" infections associated with HIV. This product also does not prevent the spread of HIV to others through sexual contact or blood. Do not share this medication with others. Laboratory and/or medical tests (eye exams, kidney/liver function tests) will be performed to monitor your progress.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 hours of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. It is important not to miss doses of this drug.


Store at room temperature (77 degrees F or 25 degrees C) in a tightly closed container away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted.