zidovudine (azt) - oral, Retrovir (cont.)
USES: This drug is used with other medications to help control your HIV infection, thereby improving your quality of life. It may also lower your risk of complications from HIV (such as new infections, cancers). Zidovudine belongs to a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors-NRTIs.Zidovudine is used in pregnant women to prevent passing the HIV virus to the unborn baby. This medication is also used in newborns born to mothers infected with HIV to prevent infection in the newborns.Zidovudine is not a cure for HIV infection and it does not prevent the spread of HIV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination (such as sharing used needles).OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This medication may also be used to prevent HIV infection after contact with the virus.
HOW TO USE: Take this medication by mouth, usually 2-3 times daily with or without food or as directed by your doctor. Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water (8 ounces/240 milliliters) unless your doctor directs you otherwise. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Pregnant women may need to take this medication 5 times a day. Newborns are usually given the liquid form every 6 hours for 6 weeks after birth to prevent infection.Take this medication 2 hours before or after taking clarithromycin. Clarithromycin may prevent your body from fully absorbing zidovudine.This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses. Refill your medication before you run out.Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
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