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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking didanosine (Videx, Videx EC)?
Do not use didanosine if you are allergic to it. Do not take didanosine together with allopurinol (Zyloprim) or ribavirin (Rebetol, Ribasphere, Copegus Virazole).
Didanosine can cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver or pancreas.
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:
Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking didanosine. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, if you are a woman, or if you have taken HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.
If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of didanosine on the baby.
Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.
How should I take didanosine (Videx, Videx EC)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take didanosine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open a delayed-release capsule. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. Certain HIV medications or antibiotics should not be taken at the same time as didanosine because they can affect the levels of this medicine in your blood stream:
Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.
To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your vision and liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container, away from moisture and heat.
Store the liquid form of didanosine in the refrigerator. Throw away any leftover didanosine liquid that is more than 30 days old.
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.
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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