Where is Zidovudine used?
Zidovudine is an oral prescription used in the human immunodeficiency virus or also known as HIV. This is a serious viral infection. Zidovudine slows down the growth and spread of HIV and helps slow down the progression of the illness. This also lowers your chance of getting HIV complications and improves your quality of life. Zidovudine is usually used in combination with other HIV medications.
How does Zidovudine work?
Zidovudine blocks the action of the enzyme which interferes with the conversion of viral RNA into DNA. This stops the virus from growing. This drug is one of several medicines that lower the amount of virus in the body. This helps the immune system to recover and slow down or stop the progression of the disease from HIV to AIDS.
A combined anti-HIV medicine is necessary to fight HIV because the virus can become resistant to one agent very fast. This is known as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) or combined antiretroviral therapy (cART). Zidovudine is used in combination with other anti-HIV drugs that attack HIV in different ways. This minimizes the ability of the virus to replicate and multiply. This helps prevent it from becoming resistant to treatment.
How is Zidovudine taken?
You can take Zidovudine with or without food. HIV treatment usually works best if you take it every day. The dose and how often you take the medicine will depend on your medical status and response to the drug. Your doctor may give you a low dose at the start of your treatment and gradually increase it as your body gets used to the medicine.
Do not suddenly stop this treatment without consulting your doctor. It may cause your current condition to get worse or may develop other complications. It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses.
What are the precautions in taking Zidovudine?
- Before using this prescription, tell your doctor if you have any medical history such as liver problems, kidney problems, low red/white blood cells, or alcohol use.
- Zidovudine should not be used in people with low levels of hemoglobin and low levels of white blood cells.
- Caution is advised when using this drug in older adults because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the medication.
- Inform your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug. This may cause an allergic reaction to the inactive ingredient that it contains.
- If you are pregnant, tell your doctor before using this drug. Treatment can lower the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
- Do not breastfeed because breast milk can transmit HIV.
- This drug should be used with caution in people over 65 years of age, people with an enlarged liver, decreased liver or kidney function, and obese women.
- Some people taking antiretroviral medicines develop changes to the way body fat is distributed in the body. This can result in changes to body image. Your doctor will discuss the possibility of this with you.