Ziagen is used to treat HIV infections in combination with other medications. Ziagen is a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). It works by slowing down the growth of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Store Ziagen at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Ziagen out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Some medical conditions can interact with Ziagen. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions that you may be experiencing before taking Ziagen. Some of these conditions include if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding, if you are taking any prescription or non-prescription medicines, herbal preparations, or dietary supplements, if you have allergies to food or other substances, if you have a history of heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or smoking, or if you have been tested and know if you have a gene type called HLA-B*5701. Caution is advised when using Ziagen in Children, they may be more sensitive to the effects of Ziagen. If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the risks of using Ziagen while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medication is found in breast milk. Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or Ziagen to the baby
Alcohol can increase the risk of Ziagen’s side effects and toxic effects. Avoid alcohol while taking Ziagen. Tell your doctor that you use Ziagen before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery. When your supply of Ziagen is low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can. Do not stop taking Ziagen, even for a short period of time. If you do, the HIV virus may grow resistant to the medicine and become harder to treat. Changes in body fat may occur in some patients taking Ziagen. Discuss any concerns with your doctor. Ziagen does not stop the spread of HIV to others through blood or sexual contact. Use barrier methods of birth control (condoms) if you have HIV. Do not share needles, injection supplies, or items like toothbrushes or razors.
Patient Family Information : Use Ziagen as directed by your doctor. Read the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions. Ziagen comes with patient information sheets. Read the information carefully. Ziagen comes with a warning card that provides you with important information about recognizing allergic reactions. Carry the warning card of allergy symptoms with you. Tell your doctor about any side effects you experience while taking Ziagen. Take Ziagen by mouth with or without food. Take Ziagen at the same time each day so you remember to take it every day. Continue taking Ziagen even if you feel well. Do not miss doses. If you miss a dose of Ziagen, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once
Do not take Ziagen if you are allergic to any ingredient in Ziagen or if you have had a recent abnormal liver function test or have moderate to severe liver problems. Do not take Ziagen if you are taking Methadone.
Sever Side Effects : Seek emergency medical attention if any of these serious side effects occur: Severe allergic reaction (hives, rash, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue), burning or tingling in the skin, change of
Less serious side effects include: headache, lack of energy, mild nausea, tiredness, trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, vomiting.
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