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April 15, 2021

Zidovudine is an FDA-approved medication that comes as a 100 mg and 300 mg tablet for oral use. This is used in HIV and helps lessen the infection in your body.

What condition does Zidovudine treat?

Zidovudine is a prescription specifically used in pregnant women to prevent passing the HIV infection to the unborn baby. This helps decrease the amount of HIV in your body and allows your immune system to work better. This also lowers your chance of getting HIV complications and improves your quality of life.

This is usually used in combination with other HIV medications. Zidovudine is in the class of drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).  This prescription is also used to prevent infection in newborn babies.

How does Zidovudine work?

Zidovudine works by blocking the action of the enzyme which interferes with the conversion of viral RNA into DNA. This stops the virus from growing. This medicine is one of several medications that lower the amount of virus in the body. This helps the immune system to recover and slow down or stop the progression of the disease from HIV to AIDS.

A combined anti-HIV medication is needed to combat HIV because the virus may become dangerous to one agent very quickly. This is known as combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Zidovudine is used along with other anti-HIV medicines that attack HIV in various ways. This reduces the capacity of the virus to imitate and increase. This helps avoid it from becoming resistant to treatment. 

What is the dosage of Zidovudine?

Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions. Also, sometimes the medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. Before you start taking Zidovudine you must tell your doctor if you:

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Drink a lot of alcohol
  • If you have problems with the way your kidneys work or any problems with the way your liver works
  • Know you have a very low white blood cell count or low hemoglobin levels
  • Have been told you have low levels of vitamin b12 in your body
  • Have a rare inherited blood disorder called porphyria
  • Have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine
  • Are taking any other medicines including any medicines which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as complimentary herbal and medicines

The dosage of this prescription is based on your medical condition and response to the treatment. Your doctor may give you a lower dose and slowly increase it. This is to be taken by mouth usually 2 to 3 times a day. Each dose may be taken with or without food or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication with a full glass of water. Swallow the capsule as a whole. Do not open or chew it. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Take it regularly for the best benefit of this product. Do not suddenly stop this treatment without the consent of your doctor.

Take each dose exactly as it is given by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than the prescription. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. 

What are the precautions in using Zidovudine?

  • Inform your doctor if you have any allergies. This may cause an allergic reaction to the inactive ingredient that it contains.
  • If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before using this drug. Treatment can lower the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
  • Do not breastfeed because breast milk can transmit HIV.
  • Caution is advised when using this drug in older adults because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the medication.
  • This drug should be used with caution in people over 65 years of age, people with an enlarged liver, decreased liver or kidney function, and obese women.
  • Zidovudine should not be used in people with low levels of hemoglobin and low levels of white blood cells.
  • If you missed a dose of this medication, inform your doctor right away for instructions.
  • Do not share any of your medications especially this drug without having consent from your doctor.

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