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Retrovir (Zidovudine)

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Quick overview

Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) is prescribed for adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

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Why is Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) prescribed?
Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) is prescribed for adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV causes the immune system to break down so that it can no longer respond effectively to infection, leading to the fatal disease known as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) slows down the progress of HIV. Sometimes Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) is combined with other anti-HIV drugs.Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) is also prescribed for HIV-infected children over 3 months of age who have symptoms of HIV or who have no symptoms but, through testing, have shown evidence of impaired immunity.Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) taken during pregnancy often prevents transmission of HIV from mother to child.

Most important fact about Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine)
The long-term effects of treatment with zidovudine are unknown. However, treatment with Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) may lead to blood diseases, including granulocytopenia (a severe blood disorder characterized by a sharp decrease of certain types of white blood cells called granulocytes) and severe anemia requiring blood transfusions. This is especially true in women, individuals who are overweight, people who have been using Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) for a long time, people with more advanced HIV, and those who start treatment later in the course of their infection.Also, because Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) is not a cure for HIV infections or AIDS, those who are infected may continue to develop complications,including opportunistic infections that develop when the immune system falters. Therefore, frequent blood counts by your doctor are strongly advised. Notify your doctor immediately of any changes in your general health.

How should you take Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine)?
Take Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not share Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) with anyone and do not exceed your recommended dosage. Take it at even intervals every 4 hours around the clock (children every 6 hours).If you are pregnant, take the drug 5 times a day.

If you miss a dose...
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once. 

Storage instructions...
Tablets, capsules, and syrup should be stored at room temperature; keep capsules away from moisture. 

What side effects may occur?
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine).The frequency and severity of side effects associated with the use of Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) are greater in people whose infection is more advanced when treatment is started. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish side effects from the underlying signs of HIV disease or the infections caused by HIV.

Side effects may include:
Cough, diarrhea, difficult or labored breathing, ear pain, discharge or swelling, enlarged liver, enlarged spleen, fever, general feeling of illness, headache, loss of appetite, mouth sores, nausea, nasal discharge or congestion, rash, swollen lymph nodes, vomiting Why should Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) not be prescribed?If you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) or any of its ingredients, you should not take Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine).

Special warnings about Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine)
This drug has been studied for only a limited period of time. Long-term safety and effectiveness are not known, especially for people who are in a less advanced stage of AIDS or AIDS-related complex (the condition that precedes AIDS), and for those using the drug over a prolonged period of time.Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) can cause an enlarged liver and the chemical imbalance known as lactic acidosis. This serious and sometimes fatal side effect is more likely in women,people who are overweight, and those who have been taking drugs such as Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) for an extended period. Signs of lactic acidosis include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, and a feeling of unwellness. Contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Treatment with Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) may have to be discontinued.If you develop a blood disease, you may require a blood transfusion, and your doctor may reduce your dose or take you off the drug altogether. Make sure your doctor monitors your blood count on a regular basis.The use of Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) has not been shown to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination or to nursing infants.Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) should be used with extreme caution by people who have a bone marrow disease.Some people taking Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) develop a sensitization reaction, often signaled by a rash. If you notice a rash developing, notify your doctor.Contact your doctor immediately if you develop shortness of breath, muscle weakness, abdominal pain, or any unexpected problems while being treated with Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine).Because little data are available concerning the use of Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) in people with impaired kidney or liver function, check with your doctor before using Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) if you have either problem.Like other HIV drugs, Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) sometimes causes a redistribution of body fat, resulting in added weight around the waist, a "buffalo hump" of fat on the upper back, breast enlargement, and wasting of the face, arms, and legs. It's not known why this occurs, or what long-term effects it might have.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine)
If Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) with the following: Atovaquone Doxorubicin Fluconazole Ganciclovir Interferon Methadone Nelfinavir Phenytoin  Probenecid Ribavirin Rifampin Ritonavir Stavudine Valproic acidDo not take Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) with Combivir or Trizivir, which contain the same active ingredient.Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding .The effects of Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) during pregnancy are under study. Use during pregnancy has been shown to protect the developing baby from contracting HIV.If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.Since HIV can be passed on through breast milk to a nursing infant, do not breastfeed your baby.

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency medical treatment immediately.Symptoms of Generic Retrovir (Zidovudine) overdose may include:Fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting 

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