Zidovudine

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

Retrovir

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Zidovudine; AZT; Novo-AZT; Retrovir; Retrovir (AZT)

Warning

  • This drug may have unsafe effects on the bone marrow. 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 child’s doctor.

What is this drug used for?

  • 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.

What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child is taking another drug that has the same drug in it.
  • If your child is taking any of these drugs: Doxorubicin, ribavirin, or stavudine.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of their drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that your child is using this drug.
  • Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
  • Your child may have more chance of getting infections. Avoid crowds and people with infections, colds, or flu.
  • This drug is not a cure for HIV. Be sure your child stays under the care of the doctor.
  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood. Be sure needles and other things like toothbrushes or razors are not shared. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is or may be sexually active:

  • This drug does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through having sex. Be sure your child does not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Talk with the doctor.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Tell the doctor if your child is pregnant or becomes pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of your child using this drug while pregnant.
  • Be sure your child does not breast-feed a baby if she has HIV disease unless the doctor tells her to.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • 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 bruising or bleeding.
  • Change in body fat.
  • This drug may help the immune system work. If your child has an infection that you did not know was there, it may show up when your child takes this drug. Tell your child’s doctor right away if you see any signs of infection like fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath after your child starts this drug.
  • 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 your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Hard stools (constipation).
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Not hungry.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.
  • Give as you have been told, even if your child feels well.

All oral products:

  • Give this drug with or without food.

Liquid:

  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, get an oral syringe, a dropper, a spoon, or a cup (only for older children) from your pharmacist.

Shot:

  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?

All oral products:

  • Skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal time.
  • Do not give 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

Shot:

  • Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

All oral products:

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Shot:

  • This drug will be given to your child in a hospital or doctor’s office. You will not store it at home.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child 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 child’s doctor, 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.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Last Reviewed Date

2015-01-30

Copyright

Copyright © 2014 Clinical Drug Information, LLC and Lexi-Comp, Inc.

If you have any questions or concerns, talk with a member of your healthcare team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at ____________________. After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, please call____________________. If there’s no number listed, or you’re not sure, call 212-639-2000.

Zidovudine
Printed on May 27, 2015, 7:25 pm