Drugs A - Z
Abacavir Sulfate Oral tablet
Generic Name: abacavir
Brand Names: Ziagen
What is this medicine?ABACAVIR (a ba KA vir) is an antiretroviral medicine. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It will not stop the spread of HIV to others.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- liver disease
- an unusual or allergic reaction to abacavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
- pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You may take this medicine with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. Then take your next dose at the usual scheduled time. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
- alcohol or alcohol containing products
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
- any other medicine that contains abacavir
What should I watch for while using this medicine?Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.
HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.
A small number of people may have a severe allergy to this medicine. Some symptoms are a skin rash, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, severe tiredness, aches, or generally feeling sick. A list of these symptoms is on the Warning Card given to you by your pharmacist. You should carry this Warning Card with you. If you have these symptoms while taking this medicine, stop the medicine and call your doctor right away.
If you stop this medicine because you ran out of medicine or because you may have had an allergic reaction, talk to your doctor. Do not restart this medicine without your doctor's advice. Severe hypersensitivity reactions can occur within hours and may include life-threatening hypotension and death.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
- allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
- breathing difficulties, cough
- fever, chills, sore throat, infection
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
- redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
- unexplained weight loss
- unusually weak or tired
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
- loss of appetite
- difficulty sleeping
- weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
Where should I keep my medicine?Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.