Apo-Zidovudine; AZT; Novo-AZT; Retrovir; Retrovir (AZT)
- This drug may have unsafe effects on the bone marrow. This includes low white blood cell counts and very bad anemia. The bone marrow may not be able to make cells found in the blood as well as it used to.
- This drug may cause muscle aches and stiffness if it is used for long periods of time. Closely read the part in this leaflet that lists when to call the doctor.
- This drug may rarely cause swollen liver and an acid health problem in the blood. This may be deadly in some cases. The chance may be higher in women, in overweight people, and in people who have taken drugs like this one for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- It is used to treat HIV infection.
- It is used to keep the HIV infection from passing from the mother to the newborn during delivery. The newborn will also be given this drug after birth.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have an allergy to zidovudine or any other part of this drug.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are taking any of these drugs: Doxorubicin, ribavirin, or stavudine.
- If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this drug.
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- You may have more chance of getting an infection. Wash hands often. Stay away from people with infections, colds, or flu.
- This drug is not a cure for HIV. Stay under the care of your doctor.
- This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your doctor.
- If you have hepatitis C and HIV, talk with your doctor. Liver function has gotten worse in people who were taking this drug and interferon alfa with or without ribavirin. Sometimes, this has been deadly.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
- If you have a latex allergy, talk with your doctor.
For all uses of this drug:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of too much lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) like fast breathing, fast heartbeat, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, feeling very sleepy, shortness of breath, feeling very tired or weak, very bad dizziness, feeling cold, or muscle pain or cramps.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Muscle pain or weakness.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Change in body fat.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
Treating HIV infection:
- This drug may help the immune system work. If you have an infection that you did not know you had, it may show up when you take this drug. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any signs of infection like fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath after you start this drug.
- Hard stools (constipation).
- Not hungry.
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- It is important that you do not miss or skip a dose of this drug during treatment.
All oral products:
- Take with or without food.
- Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure this drug.
- It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.
All oral products:
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
All oral products:
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.