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Abacavir

Brand Name

  • Ziagen

General Information

Abacavir is the most powerful nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor used to treat HIV and AIDS. Abacavir comes as a tablet and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day with or without food. To help you remember to take abacavir, take it around the same time every day. It has been well tolerated; its main side effect being hypersensitivity reactions, which can be dangerous or even (in some rare cases) fatal. Abacavir will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS; however, it helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. Rarely, abacavir has caused a severe (sometimes fatal) liver and blood problem (lactic acidosis). Immediately tell your doctor if you develop symptoms of liver problems (e.g., persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin) or lactic acidosis (e.g., rapid breathing, drowsiness, muscle aches). Abacavir should always be used in combination with other antiretroviral agents. Abacavir should not be added as a single agent when antiretroviral regimens are changed due to loss of virologic response. Generic abacavir oral solution is not yet available. It works by slowing the spread of human immunodeficiency virus infection in the body. Abacavir does not prevent the spread of HIV to other people. Abacavir works best when the level of medicine in your bloodstream is kept constant. It is best to take the drug at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day.

Abacavir Dosage

  • The dose of abacavir will be different for different patients.
  • Adults and adolescents 16 years of age and olderó300 milligrams (mg) two times a day or 600 mg once a day.
  • Children 3 months to 16 years of age - Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 8 mg per kilogram (3.6 mg per pound) of body weight two times a day.

Side effects of this medicine

  • Fever.
  • Abdominal or stomach pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • A general ill feeling.
  • Difficult or labored breathing.
  • Skin rash.
  • Numbness or tingling.

Warninges and precautions while using this medicine

  • Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor immediately if you notice sudden fever, skin rash, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or a feeling of unusual tiredness or illness, cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat.
  • Before taking abacavir, be sure to tell your doctor about any medical problems you may have, especially liver problems.
  • Talk to your doctor about the safe use of alcohol while taking this medication.
  • Abacavir cannot be used in infants under age 3 months.
  • Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to abacavir or to any other medication. If you develop an allergic reaction to abacavir, it is important to know that you cannot take this medication again.
  • Do not stop treatment unless directed by your doctor. Before restarting abacavir/lamivudine, consult your doctor or pharmacist, and be sure you have easy access to medical care.

Overdose

  • If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.
  • US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

 

 


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