Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Zerit
Generic Name: stavudine (Pronunciation: STA vue deen)
What is stavudine (Zerit)?
Stavudine is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Stavudine is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Stavudine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Stavudine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Zerit 15 mg
red/yellow, imprinted with BMS 1964, 15
Zerit 20 mg
orange, imprinted with BMS 1965, 20
Zerit 30 mg
orange/yellow, imprinted with BMS 1966, 30
Zerit 40 mg
orange, imprinted with BMS 1967, 40
What are the possible side effects of stavudine (Zerit)?
Stop using stavudine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:
Less serious side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about stavudine (Zerit)?
Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking stavudine. 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, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
Stavudine can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver or pancreas. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms while taking stavudine: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, fast heart rate, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Before taking stavudine, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, a history of pancreatitis, or if you have used a medicine similar to stavudine in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), lamivudine (Epivir), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), or zidovudine (Retrovir).
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
- Symptoms of a Severe Allergic Reaction
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