Diseases Symptoms Drugs Injuries Surgeries Vitamins Pediatric Symptoms
  home         about us         support center         contact us         terms of service         site map

ZIDOVUDINE (AZT, Azidothymidine)

Brand & Generic Names


Basic Information

  • Habit forming? No
  • Prescription needed? Yes
  • Available as generic? No
  • Drug class: Antiviral


    Treatment of selected adult patients infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) and advanced ARC (AIDS-related complex). Does not cure the infection.

Dosage & Usage Information

How to take:
Capsule--Swallow with liquid.
Syrup--Take with liquid.

When to take:
Every 4 hours around the clock unless instructed otherwise.

If you forget a dose:
Take as soon as you remember.

What drug does:
Inhibits reproduction of some viruses, including HIV virus (the virus that causes AIDS).

Time lapse before drug works:
May require several weeks of treatment for full effect. Absorption is rapid.

Don't take with:
High-fat meals.
Any other medicine without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


Unusual bleeding or bruising, severe nausea and vomiting, seizures, unsteady gait.


  • Dial 911 (emergency) or O (operator) for an ambulance or medical help. Then give first aid immediately.
  • See EMERGENCY Information.

Possible Adverse Reactions or Side Effects


    Lip or tongue swelling. Discontinue. Seek emergency treatment.


  • Pale skin (anemia), chills, diarrhea.
  • Severe headache, nausea, insomnia, diarrhea.


    Sweating, fever, appetite loss, abdominal pain, vomiting, aching muscles, dizziness, numbness in hands and feet, shortness of breath, skin rash, strange taste, nervousness, itching, mouth sores, discolored nails.


    Constipation, confusion, fainting, unexplained bleeding.

Warnings & Precautions

Don't take if:
You are allergic to any component of this capsule.

Before you start, consult your doctor:

  • If you know you have a low white blood cell count or severe anemia.
  • If you have severe kidney or liver disease.

Over age 60:
Elimination may be slower.

Should not be used in pregnancy except when zidovudine is clearly indicated.

Not recommended for HIV-positive mothers.

Infants & children:
Use only under medical supervision.

Prolonged use:
Talk to your doctor about the need for follow-up medical examinations or laboratory studies to check complete blood counts (white blood cell count, platelet count, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit).

Skin & sunlight:
No problems expected.

Driving, piloting, or hazardous work:
Don't drive or pilot aircraft until you learn how medicine affects you. Don't work around dangerous machinery. Don't climb ladders or work in high places. Danger increases if you drink alcohol or take medicine affecting alertness and reflexes, such as antihistamines, tranquilizers, sedatives, pain medicine, narcotics and mind-altering drugs.

Don't discontinue without consulting your doctor. Dose may require gradual reduction if you have taken drug for a long time. Doses of other drugs may also require adjustment.


  • Zidovudine does not cure HIV virus infections. Transfusions or dose modification may be necessary if toxicity develops.
  • Have blood counts followed closely during treatment to detect anemia or lowered white blood cell count.
  • Zidovudine does not reduce risk of transmitting disease to others.
  • Healing after dental procedures may be delayed.
  • X-ray treatments may worsen anemia.
  • Patients with AIDS or ARC may continue to develop complications, including opportunistic infections such as pneumocistis carnii pneumonia.

Possible Interaction with Other Drugs

------------------------ -----------------------
Acetaminophen May increase toxic effects of
zidovudine. Avoid.
Acyclovir Lethargy, convulsions.
Aspirin May increase toxic effects of
Benzodiazepines May increase toxic effects of
zidovudine. Avoid.
Bone marrow depressants* Increased bone marrow toxicity.
Cimetidine May increase toxic effects of
zidovudine. Avoid.
Clarithromycin Decreased zidovudine effect.
Clozapine Toxic effect on bone marrow.
Ganciclovir Increased toxicity of both drugs.
Use combination with caution only
when essential.
Indomethacin May increase toxic effects of
Levamisole Increased risk of bone marrow
Morphine May increase toxic effects of
zidovudine. Avoid.
Probenecid May increase toxic effects of
Ribavirin Decreased zidovudine effect.
Sulfadoxine and Increased risk of liver toxicity.
Sulfa drugs* May increase toxic effects of
zidovudine. Avoid.
Thioguanine More likelihood of toxicity of both
Tiopronin Increased risk of toxicity to bone

Possible Interaction with Other Substances

--------------- ---------------
Alcohol: Unknown. Best to avoid.
Beverages: None expected.
Cocaine: Unknown. Best to avoid.
Foods: None expected.
Marijuana: Unknown. Best to avoid.
Tobacco: None expected.

Dserun mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum and sunt in culpa qui officias deserunt mollit. Excepteur plus sint occaecat the best cupidatat nonr proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. September 24, 2004
read more


Excepteur plus sint occaecat the best cupidatat nonr proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit.
Support forums
Help desk
home       about us      affiliates     contact us       terms of service      

© 2005 All right reserved