stavudine, Zerit (cont.)

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PREPARATIONS: Capsules: 15, 20, 30 and 40 mg. Powder for oral solution, 1 mg/ml.

STORAGE: Capsules should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). The dry powder for oral solution should be kept at room temperature and away from moisture. Solutions should be refrigerated.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Stavudine is used in combination with other drugs for the treatment of HIV infection.

DOSING: The recommended dose for adults is 40 mg every 12 hours for those weighing 60 kg or more and 30 mg every 12 hours if less than 60 kg.

Newborns up to 13 days of age should receive 0.5 mg/kg every 12 hours and children older than 14 days and weighing less than 30 kg should receive 1 mg/kg.

Children weighing 30 kg or more should be treated as adults.

Stavudine may be administered without regard to meals.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Zidovudine prevents the conversion of stavudine to its active form (stavudine triphosphate), and this reduces the action of stavudine against the HIV virus. Therefore stavudine should not be combined with zidovudine. There is experimental evidence that doxorubicin and ribavarin can reduce the conversion of stavudine to its active form. Therefore, combining stavudine with doxorubicin or ribavarin should be undertaken with caution.

PREGNANCY: Use of stavudine during pregnancy has not been adequately evaluated. Fatal lactic acidosis (a metabolic disturbance) occurred in pregnant women who received stavudine and didanosine combined with other drugs for the treatment of HIV.

NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether stavudine is excreted in breast milk. HIV infected mothers should not breastfeed because of the potential risk of transmitting HIV to an infant that is not infected.

SIDE EFFECTS: 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 chills, rash, abdominal pain, weight loss and insomnia.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2013

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