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Zidovudine

INFORMATION

Uses

Zidovudine is used in the treatment of HIV infection.

How it works

Zidovudine belongs to a group of medications called nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), also known as antiretrovirals. Zidovudine does not cure HIV infection; it reduces the amount of viruses in the body by inhibiting the enzyme (viral reverse transcriptase) which is essential for the virus to grow. Further, zidovudine also increases some white blood cells (CD4 cells) of the body that are important in fighting infections.

Common side effects

Abdominal pain, Altered sleep, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Headache

AVAILABLE MEDICINE

Expert advice

  • Inform you doctor if you have or ever had any liver problems or liver disease including hepatitis B or C or kidney problems.
  • Inform your doctor if you are suffering from diabetes or are overweight and on insulin therapy.
  • As treatment with zidovudine does not reduce the risk of passing HIV on to others by sexual contact or blood transfer, discuss with your doctor about necessary precautions (practicing safer sex and making other life-style changes) to be taken to avoid spreading of HIV virus to others.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions

Zidovudine

Q.Is zidovudine an antibiotic?
No, zidovudine is not an antibiotic; it belongs to a class of drugs called antiretrovirals

Q.Is zidovudine a prodrug?
Yes, zidovudine is a prodrug and must be activated (by phosphorylation in lymphocytes) in the body to exert its antiviral action

Q.Is zidovudine a protease inhibitor?
No, zidovudine is not a protease inhibitor; it is a nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor

Q.How does zidovudine work?
Zidovudine belongs to a group of medications called nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), also known as antiretrovirals. Zidovudine does not cure HIV infection; it reduces the amount of viruses in the body by inhibiting the chemical (viral reverse transcriptase) which is essential for the virus to grow. Further, zidovudine also increases some white blood cells (CD4 cells) of the body that are important in fighting infections.

Q.What is zidovudine used for?
Zidovudine is used in combination with other antiretroviral medicines for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection

Q.How is zidovudine administered?
Zidovudine can be administered as tablets, syrups and suspension in combination with other antiretroviral medications

Q.Does zidovudine cause muscle pain?
Yes, muscle pain is a known adverse effect of use zidovudine

Q.Does zidovudine cause lipodystrophy?
There are no known effects of zidovudine on lipid distribution and it is not known to cause lipodystrophy

Q.How does zidovudine cause anemia?
Zidovudine is known to cause bone marrow depression and thereby cause anemia (reduction in red blood cell count)

Q.How much does zidovudine cost?
The price of zidovudine may vary depending upon the brand prescribed to you.Please read the instruction on the package for the correct price of the product.


Content on this page was last updated on 12 November, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)