DIDANOSINE (DDI)-ORAL PACKETS, Videx (cont.)
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: Use this medicine exactly as prescribed by the doctor. It is important to give this medicine on an empty stomach. Open packet and pour contents into one half glass of water (4 ounces or 120ml). Do not mix with fruit juice or carbonated drinks. Stir well until the powder is completely dissolved. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Drink the solution 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/pain in your hands or feet, yellowing of eyes or skin, unusual bleeding or bruising, dark urine, rapid breathing. 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, breathing trouble. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
PRECAUTIONS: Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: pancreatic disease, tingling of the hands or feet (called peripheral neuropathy), kidney problems, heart problems, liver problems, a sodium-restricted diet, major surgery/infection/in- jury, alcohol use, gall bladder problems, stomach problems, vision problems, high fats in the blood (triglycerides), allergies (especially drug allergies). Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may worsen pancreatitis. Before using didanosine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant. It is not known if didanosine passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can pass HIV infection, do not breast-feed.
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