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Generic Name:

didanosine, Oral solution

Videx

Videx

Generic Name: didanosine, Oral solution

All Brands

  • Videx
SECTION 1 of 4

Highlights for Videx

Oral solution
1

Videx is an oral drug used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. It’s always taken with other antiretroviral drugs.

2

The adult dose ranges from 200 mg to 400 mg, taken twice per day. Your dosage is calculated according to your body weight.

3

Rare but serious side effects can include pancreatitis and liver toxicity. Tell your doctor if you have stomach bloating, pain, severe nausea, vomiting, or yellowing of the whites of your eyes or skin.

4

Videx can cause vision changes. You may need eye exams while taking it.

5

Some people experience tingling fingers and toes while taking Videx. Call your doctor if you experience these effects.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Though the medication can still be sold and used, a black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

  • May cause swelling and inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). This is a rare side effect from this drug. Symptoms may include:
    • stomach bloating
    • pain
    • nausea
    • vomiting and tenderness when touching your stomach
    If you’ve had pancreatitis before, you may be at greater risk.
  • May cause lactic acidosis and liver enlargement. Lactic acidosis is a change in the body’s chemical balance. This is a serious condition in which lactic acid builds up in the blood and the amount of oxygen drops. This can cause nausea and weakness. If you have swelling or enlargement of your abdomen area along with these symptoms, see a doctor right away. Fatal lactic acidosis has been reported in pregnant women taking this drug plus stavudine and other antiretroviral drugs. This combination should only be used in pregnancy when the possible benefit clearly outweighs the possible risk.
  • May be toxic to your liver. Your doctor should monitor your liver function before treatment and periodically while you take the drug. Your risk is higher if you already have liver disease, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infection. Taking a combination of this drug and the other drugs stavudine, and hydroxyurea has resulted in death due to liver toxicity in some people. This combination should be avoided.

May cause immune reconstitution syndrome

Your recovering immune system may cause infections that you’ve had in the past to return. Examples of past infections include fungal infections, pneumonia, or tuberculosis. Your doctor will need to treat these old infections if this happens.

What is Videx?

This drug is a prescription drug. It is available in these forms: oral delayed-release capsule, oral solution.

This drug is used as part of a combination therapy. That means you will need to take it in combination with other drugs.

This drug is available in its generic form. Generic drugs may cost less but don’t always come in the same strengths or forms as brand name drugs. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

Why it's used

How it works

This drug works by acting on an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) needs to make copies of itself.

More Details

How it works

This drug works by acting on an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) needs to make copies of itself. This drug works to prevent HIV from making copies as quickly, which slows down the disease.

This drug must be used in combination with at least two other antiretroviral drugs to control your HIV.

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SECTION 2 of 4

Videx Side Effects

Oral solution

More Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that can occur with Videx include:

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • headache

  • rash

  • vomiting

  • a buildup of body fat in new places, such as on the back of your neck

These side effects should go away within a few weeks. If they persist or are bothersome, call your doctor.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life-threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • swelling and inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). This is a rare side effect. If you’ve had pancreatitis before, you may be at greater risk. Some drugs also increase your risk. Symptoms of pancreatitis may include:

    • stomach bloating
    • pain
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • tenderness when touching your stomach
  • lactic acidosis and liver enlargement. Symptoms can include: nausea and weakness. If you also have swelling or enlargement of your abdomen along with these symptoms, see your doctor.

  • liver toxicity. Symptoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
    • dark colored urine
    • loss of appetite
    • abdominal pain
    • dark colored stools
  • numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands or feet. This has happened more often in people with advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or people also taking stavudine. Call your doctor right away if this occurs. You may need to stop taking the drug.

  • immune reconstitution syndrome. Your recovering immune system may cause infections that you’ve had treated in the past to return. Examples of past infections include fungal infections, pneumonia, or tuberculosis. Your doctor will need to re-treat these old infections if this happens.

  • changes in vision, including changes to your retina or inflammation of the optic nerves. Blurred vision could be a sign that the drug is affecting your vision.

Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug does not cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 4

Videx May Interact with Other Medications

Oral solution

Videx can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Eye infection drug
  • ganciclovir 

Taking ganciclovir with Videx increases the amount of Videx in your body. This raises your risk for side effects. If you take both of these drugs together, you should report any new or unusual side effects to your doctor.

Hepatitis C virus infection drug
  • ribavirin 

Taking ribavirin with Videx increases the amount of Videx in your body. This raises your risk for potentially severe side effects. These two drugs should not be taken together.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs
  • tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 

Taking tenofovir disoproxil fumarate with Videx increases the amount of Videx in your body. This raises your risk for side effects. If you take these two drugs together, your dose of Videx should be reduced.

Uric acid-lowering drug
  • allopurinol

Taking allopurinol with Videx increases the amount of Videx in your body. This raises your risk for potentially severe side effects. These two drugs should not be taken together.

Pain drug
  • methadone

Taking methadone with Videx decreases the amount of Videx in your body and might decrease the efficacy of Videx. If you take these two drugs together, your dose of Videx might need to be increased.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
kidney disease
People with kidney disease

Kidney disease may cause your kidneys to work more slowly and take longer to filter out drugs. This may cause the drug level in your body to rise and cause more side effects. Your doctor may test your kidney function and reduce your dose of this drug.

liver disease
People with liver disease

If you have liver disease, including hepatitis or other liver diseases, there is a risk that your liver disease could worsen while you take this drug. This drug may not be the right choice for you.

pregnant woman
Pregnant women

This drug is a pregnancy category B drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show that the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

This drug should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk.

Fatal lactic acidosis and liver enlargement have happened to pregnant women who took this drug with stavudine and other antiretroviral drugs. Lactic acidosis is a change in the body’s chemical balance. This is a serious condition in which lactic acid builds up in the blood and the amount of oxygen drops. This can cause nausea and weakness. See a doctor right away if you experience these symptoms and unusual swelling or pain in your abdomen area. This drug combination should be used in pregnancy only when the possible benefit clearly outweighs the possible risk.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you should not breastfeed your infant if you have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. There is a risk of passing HIV infection to your baby.

Additionally, animal studies have shown that this drug is passed through breast milk.

seniors
For seniors

People aged 65 and older who have advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are at higher risk of pancreatitis from taking this drug. Seniors may also require a lowered dose because of reduced kidney or liver function.

children
For children

Children who weigh at least 44 lb (20 kg) can take this drug in capsule form. Children who can’t swallow the capsules or weigh less than 44 lb (20 kg) can take the oral solution instead.

Children can be curious about the taste of liquid medicines. If you have the oral solution in your home, use the dose right after mixing and dispose of the empty bottles.

telephone
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you experience:

  • fever
  • weakness
  • chills
  • night sweats
  • sore throat
  • joint pain

These symptoms may be a sign the drug isn’t working, and you may need a different treatment.

SECTION 4 of 4

How to Take Videx (Dosage)

Oral solution

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on: 

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection

Brand: Videx

Form: Oral solution
Strengths: 2 g, 4 g

Brand: Videx EC

Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)
  • Capsules: 250–400 mg, taken once per day. Your dosage is calculated according to your body weight.
  • Oral solution: 125–200 mg, taken twice per day or 250–400 mg taken once per day. Your dosage is calculated according to your body weight.
Child dosage (ages 2–17 years)
  • Capsules (ages 6–17 years): 200–400 mg, taken once per day. The dosage is calculated based on the child’s body weight. Children who weigh at least 44 lb. (20 kg) can take Videx capsules.
  • Oral solution (ages 2 weeks to 17 years):
    • 100 mg/m2 twice per day (ages 2 weeks to 8 months)
    • 120 mg/m2 twice per day (older than 8 months old), not to exceed the weight-based daily dosage for Videx capsules (200–400 mg per day).
Child dosage (ages 0–23 months)

Dosage for infants younger than 2 years has not been established.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body processes this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose so that too much of this drug does not build up in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be toxic.

Special considerations

Kidney Disease: Kidney disease may cause your kidneys to filter out drugs more slowly. This can increase the amount of certain drugs in your body, increasing your risk for side effects from these drugs. Your doctor may reduce your dose of Videx to prevent the drug levels from getting too high. Tell your doctor about your kidney disease before taking Videx.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Keeping human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection under control requires lifelong treatment. There can be serious health consequences if you don’t take this drug exactly how your doctor tells you.

If you don’t take it at all

If you don’t take it at all, your HIV infection will eventually reduce your immunity to a point that your body won’t be able to defend itself against many types of infections, even infections that are commonly cured in people who don’t have HIV infection.

If you stop or miss doses

If you stop taking this medication, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, the amount of medication in your body fluctuates. This can allow the HIV in your body to become resistant to the drug, which means the drug stops working.

If you don’t take it on schedule

Taking your drug at the same time every day keeps a constant amount of the drug in your body. This helps make the drug as effective as possible at keeping the virus under control.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose of this drug, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose on schedule.

Never double up on doses to catch up. Doubling doses increases your risk of having toxic side effects. 

How can I tell if the drug is working?

To see how well the drug is working, your doctor will check your:

  • virus count also known as a viral load. A virus count measures the number of copies of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in your body. A decreased virus count is a sign that your treatment is working.
  • CD4 cell count. A CD4 cell count measures the number of CD4 cells in your body. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection. An increased CD4 count is a sign that your treatment is working.

This drug is a long-term drug treatment.

Always take the capsules and oral solution on an empty stomach

Take it at least 30 minutes before a meal or at least 2 hours after a meal.

Take this drug at the same times every day for the best effect

If you take it at different times, the level of the drug could be too high or too low, leading to more side effects. This may also make the drug less effective.

Do not cut or crush the capsule

If you have trouble swallowing the capsule, ask your doctor or pharmacist about the oral solution.

Store the capsules in tightly closed containers at 77°F (25°C)

You can store them briefly in temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C) and as high as 86°F (30°C).

Note: Be careful of moist environments, including bathrooms. To keep drugs away from moisture, store them somewhere other than your bathroom and any other damp location.

Travel

If you use the oral solution and decide to travel, make sure that you have filtered or bottled water to mix with each dose. Well water or water with other contaminants could make it harder to dissolve the drug and take your dose. Mix the dose and take it right away. Don’t store it for later.

Clinical monitoring

Before and during your treatment with this drug, your doctor should check your:

  • liver function
  • cholesterol
  • virus count also known as a viral load. A virus count measures the number of copies of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in your blood. A decreased count is a sign that your treatment is working.
  • CD4 cell count. A CD4 cell count measures the amount of CD4 cells in your body. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection. An increased CD4 count is a sign that your treatment is working.

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead

This drug is often available from specialty pharmacies through your insurance plan. These pharmacies operate like mail order pharmacies and ship the drug to you.

In larger cities, there will often be human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pharmacies where you can have your prescriptions filled. Ask your doctor if there's an HIV pharmacy in your area.

Are there any alternatives?

There are many drugs and combinations that can treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.


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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on April 24, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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