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- What is stavudine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for stavudine?
- Is stavudine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for stavudine?
- What are the side effects of stavudine?
- What is the dosage for stavudine?
- Is stavudine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about stavudine?
What is stavudine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Stavudine is an oral medication that is used for the treatment of infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is in a class of drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors which also includes zalcitabine (Hivid), zidovudine (Retrovir), didanosine (Videx), and lamivudine (Epivir). During infection with HIV, the HIV virus multiplies within the body's cells. The newly formed viruses are released from the cells and spread throughout the body where they infect other cells. In this manner the infection continually spreads to new uninfected cells that the body is continually producing, perpetuating HIV infection. When producing new viruses, the HIV virus must manufacture new DNA for each virus. Reverse transcriptase is the enzyme that the virus uses to form this new DNA. Specifically, stavudine is converted within the body to its active form (stavudine triphosphate). This active form is similar to thymidine triphosphate, a chemical that is used by the HIV virus to make new DNA. The reverse transcriptase uses stavudine triphosphate instead of thymidine triphosphate for making DNA, and the stavudine triphosphate interferes with the action of the reverse transcriptase. Stavudine does not kill existing HIV virus, and it is not a cure for HIV. Stavudine was approved by the FDA in June 1994.
What brand names are available for stavudine?
Is stavudine available as a generic drug?
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
Do I need a prescription for stavudine?
What are the side effects of stavudine?
The most severe side effects are:
- a decrease in blood cells,
- muscle pain (myopathy),
- pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas),
- liver failure, and
- metabolic disturbance (lactic acidosis).
Stavudine damages nerves and can cause a severe peripheral neuropathy, a condition in which sensation in the legs and/or arms is altered or lost. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are tingling, numbness and pain in the feet or hands.
Other side effects include
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