avacavir (generic name)
Ziagen (brand name)
It is used with other medicines to treat HIV
(a ba KA vir)
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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:
How should I use this medicine?Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or dropper to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. 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 children as young as 3 months old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medicine?Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
This medicine may also interact with the following medications:
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.