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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 re-starting didanosine.


Didanosine stops the growth of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to help fight AIDS. This medication is not a cure for AIDS nor does it prevent the passing of HIV to others.

How To Use

Use this medicine exactly as prescribed by the doctor. It is important to use this medicine on an empty stomach. Your pharmacist has already mixed this medication with an appropriate antacid suspension. Shake well before using. Do not mix with fruit juice or carbonated drinks. Do not use a household spoon to measure the dose. Instead, use a medication spoon or cup.

Side Effects

This medication may cause headache, cough, rash, weakness, loss of appetite, chills, fever, sore tongue or mouth, change of taste, muscle or joint pain or insomnia as your body adjusts to the medication. Inform your doctor if these symptoms persist or become worse. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience: severe diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, tingling, numbness or pain in your hands or feet, yellowing of eyes or skin, unusual bleeding or bruising, dark urine, rapid breathing. 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.


Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: pancreatic disease, tingling of the hands or feet (called peripheral neuropathy), kidney problems, liver disease, heart problems, gall bladder problems, high fats in the blood (triglycerides), alcohol use, major injuries/surgeries/infections, vision problems, any allergies. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may worsen pancreatitis. Before using didanosine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known if didanosine passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can pass HIV infection, 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 drugs you may use, especially of: benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, triazolam), delavirdine, drugs that decrease stomach acid (e.g., cimetidine, omeprazole), ganciclovir, protease inhibitors (e.g., indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir), tenofovir, methadone, stavudine, zalcitabine, zidovudine. Also, report the use of drugs that may increase the risk of pancreatitis (e.g., pentamidine or sulfonamides such as cotrimoxazole). Consult your doctor or pharmacist. Do not use dapsone, itraconazole, ketoconazole or tetracycline antibiotics within 2 hours of this medication. Separate the timing of doses if you are also taking a quinolone antibiotic (e.g., ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin). Ask your pharmacist for specific instructions on how far apart to take each dose. This medication contains a significant amount of antacid components. Tell your doctor if you are using other antacid products. Food decreases the absorption of this drug. Follow your doctor's advice about food and the use of this drug. 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.


Blood tests and eye exams will be done to monitor your progress. This is a powerful medication and should not be shared with others.

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.


Refrigerate this medication. Discard any unused portion along with the bottle provided by the pharmacy after 30 days.