Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Retrovir
Generic Name: zidovudine (injection) (Pronunciation: zye DOE vyoo deen)
What is zidovudine injection (Retrovir)?
Zidovudine is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Zidovudine injection is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Zidovudine is also given during pregnancy to prevent an HIV-infected woman from passing the virus to her baby. Zidovudine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Zidovudine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of zidovudine injection (Retrovir)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
This medication may cause lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and get worse over time. 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.
Stop using zidovudine and 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. 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 zidovudine injection (Retrovir)?
Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Retrovir or any medicine that contains zidovudine, including Combivir or Trizivir.
Some people develop lactic acidosis while using zidovudine. Early symptoms may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms 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.
This medication can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms while using zidovudine: pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Zidovudine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood clot. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
Do not use Retrovir with any other medicine that contains zidovudine or stavudine, including: Combivir, Trizivir, or Zerit.
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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