USES: Didanosine stops the growth of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to help fight AIDS. This medication is not a cure for AIDS nor does it prevent the passing of HIV to others. One group of HIV medications (the nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors-NRTIs such as zidovudine and lamivudine) are very useful. However, NRTIs are recommended to be used in combination with other groups of HIV medications in order to be effective. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

HOW TO USE: Take this medicine exactly as your doctor prescribed. It is important to take this medicine on an empty stomach. Chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly and swallowed. They may also be crushed or dissolved in water. If tablets are to be dissolved in water stir in at least one ounce (30ml) of water until dispersion is uniform and drink immediately.

SIDE EFFECTS: This medication may cause headache, cough, rash, weakness, loss of appetite, chills, fever, sore tongue or mouth, change of taste, muscle or joint pain or insomnia as your body adjusts to the medication. Inform your doctor if these symptoms persist or become worse. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience: severe diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, tingling, numbness or pain in your hands or feet, yellowing of eyes or skin, unusual bleeding or bruising, rapid breathing, dark urine. Changes in body fat may occur while you are taking this medication (e.g., increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs). The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor, as well as the possible role of exercise to reduce this side effect. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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