GENERIC NAME: ZIDOVUDINE (AZT) - ORAL (zye-DOE-vue-deen)
BRAND NAME(S): Retrovir
WARNING: Zidovudine has caused severe blood problems including a decrease in red blood cells (anemia) and white blood cells (neutropenia). They occur more frequently in people with advanced HIV disease (AIDS). Blood problems may require blood transfusions or stopping your medication. Your doctor will order blood tests to monitor for this. Keep all medical appointments. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of anemia (unusual tiredness, breathing problems, weakness, bluish fingernails/lips, pale skin, fast heartbeat). Low white blood cells can make you more likely to get serious (sometimes fatal) infections. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop signs of infection such as fever, chills, persistent cough, breathing problems, or sore throat.
This medication may also cause muscle problems (myopathy). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of myopathy (such as wasting or decrease in muscle size, muscle weakness/pain/tenderness, weight loss).
Rarely, zidovudine has caused a severe (sometimes fatal) liver and blood problem (lactic acidosis). Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of liver problems (persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin) or lactic acidosis (rapid breathing, drowsiness, muscle aches).
Quick GuideHIV AIDS Facts: Symptoms and Treatments
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