Ziagen is used, in combination with other medicines, in the treatment of the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). 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.
Abacavir Sulfate tablet
What is this medicine?
ABACAVIR is an antiretroviral drug. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It will not stop the spread of HIV to others.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- liver disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to abacavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. You may take this medicine with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 3 months old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?
Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- alcohol or alcohol containing products
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- any other medicine that contains abacavir
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.
HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.
A small number of people may have a severe allergy to this medicine. Some symptoms are a skin rash, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, severe tiredness, aches, or generally feeling sick. A list of these symptoms is on the Warning Card given to you by your pharmacist. You should carry this Warning Card with you. If you have these symptoms while taking this medicine, stop the medicine and call your doctor right away.
If you stop this medicine because you ran out of medicine or because you may have had an allergic reaction, talk to your doctor. Do not restart this medicine without your doctor's advice. Severe hypersensitivity reactions can occur within hours and may include life-threatening hypotension and death.
What side effects may I notice from this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing problems, cough
- fever or chills, sore throat
- nausea, vomiting, unusual stomach upset or pain
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- unexplained weight loss
- unusually weak or tired
- weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- loss of appetite
- trouble sleeping
This list may not describe all possible side effects.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Do not freeze. May be refrigerated. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.