Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Ziagen
Generic Name: abacavir (Pronunciation: a BAK a veer)
What is abacavir (Ziagen)?
Abacavir is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Abacavir is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Abacavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Abacavir may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Ziagen 250 mg
oblong, yellow, imprinted with GX623
What are the possible side effects of abacavir (Ziagen)?
Abacavir can cause other serious side effects that may not be signs of an allergic reaction. Call your doctor at once if you have:
Less serious side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about abacavir (Ziagen)?
Once you have had an allergic reaction to abacavir, you must never use it again.
Read the Warning Card that comes with this medication, and carry it with you at all times so you will know the symptoms of allergic reaction to watch for.
If you stop taking abacavir for any reason, talk to your doctor before you start taking the medication again. If you miss several doses in a row, you could have a dangerous or even fatal allergic reaction when you start taking abacavir again.
Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking abacavir. Early signs of lactic acidosis generally get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
Abacavir can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on the liver . Call your doctor at once if you have any of these liver symptoms while taking abacavir: nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Resources for Staying Well
- HIV-AIDS: Myths and Facts
- Understanding The Symptoms of AIDS/HIV
- The Top 10 Myths and Misconceptions About HIV and AIDS