Retrovir (zidovudine, ZDV, formerly called AZT)

GENERIC NAME: zidovudine (ZDV, formerly called AZT)

BRAND NAME: Retrovir




  • Zidovudine is used for the treatment of HIV and the prevention of HIV transmission from an infected mother to her fetus.


  • Zidovudine may cause low red and white blood cells.
  • Long term use of zidovudine may lead to muscle damage.
  • Lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, may occur from use of zidovudine.


The most severe side effects of ziovudine are

  • a decrease in blood cells,
  • muscle pain (myopathy),
  • enlarged liver,
  • (hepatomegaly),
  • and metabolic disturbance (lactic acidosis).

Other side effects are

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/23/2016

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