ABACAVIR - Watsons Health

ABACAVIR

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Ziagen

GENERIC NAME(S): ABACAVIR SULFATE

 

Description: Abacavir is an inhibitor of viral replication belonging to the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase inhibtiors (NRTI) group of drugs.  It is rapidly absorbed orally and crosses the blood brain barrier.  This drug is metabolized by the liver and excreted via urine.

Abacavir is used to prevent the complications of HIV infection such as new infections and cancer.   It is not a cure for HIV infection and is taken alongside other medications prescribed by your doctor for HIV infection.

HOW TO USE: Abacavir may be taken with or without food. Do use measuring device as household spoon may yield an incorrect dose.  Alergic reaction from the abacavir may be experienced when one ceases to continue the medications and then returns to taking it again. Do not skip or change dose without the approval of your doctor.

Abacavir may cause serious allergic reactions manisfesting with rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, fever, extreme tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, muscle aches, sore throat, or cough. You must get medical help right away.  More serious side effects are liver problems, lactic acidosis, etc. Women and obese patients have more serious side effects.

Trouble sleeping or loss of appetite may be experienced.  There may also be worsening of a previous medical condition like an old infection as the immune system improves. Serious side effects, include:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • muscle aches/weakness
  • joint pain
  • numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs
  • severe tiredness
  • vision changes
  • severe/persistent headaches
  • signs of infection (such as fever, chills, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores)
  • signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter)
  • signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (such as difficulty breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, slurred speech)

Precautions

Inform your doctor or pharmacist of your allergies, medical history including kidney, liver and heart diseases/conditions.

Abacavir may increase your risk of a heart attack. This drug also passes into breast milk which can be route of HIV transmission, therefore, do not breastfeed.

During pregnancy, treatment can decrease the risk of passing the HIV infection to the baby. Abacavir may be part of that treatment. Discuss the risks and benefits with your physician.

 

Interactions

Alcohol, methadone interact with Abacavir.

Abacavir may not be taken with other medications that contain abacavir.

Overdose

Get emergency medical help when overdose is suspected.

Missed Dose: As soon as you remember, take a regular dose or if the time of the next dose is near, wait for it before taking another dose and resume your usual schedule. Do not increase the dose to compensate for the missed dose.

Storage: Store medications in Room temperature. Do not expose to light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from pets and children. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour into a drain.

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