What brand names are available for zidovudine?


Is zidovudine available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for zidovudine?


What are the uses for zidovudine?

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

What are the side effects 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

What is the dosage for zidovudine?

  • For the treatment of HIV infection the recommended oral dose for adults is 100 mg every 4 hours. The intravenous dose is 1 to 2 mg/kg every 4 hours.
  • For children 3 months to 12 years old, the oral starting dose is 180 mg/m2 every 6 hours not to exceed 200 mg every 6 hours.
  • Infants should be given 2 mg/kg orally every 6 hours within 12 hours of birth and for 6 weeks or 1.5 mg/kg intravenously every 6 hours.
  • To prevent HIV transmission from mother to fetus, the dose is 100 mg five times daily or 200 mg three times daily.
  • Treatment should be initiated between the 14th and 34th weeks of pregnancy and continued until the time of labor.
  • During labor and delivery, 2mg/kg should be administered intravenously over 1 hr followed by 1 mg/kg/hr until the umbilical cord is clamped.

Which drugs or supplements interact with zidovudine?

  • Fluconazole (Diflucan), probenecid and trimethoprim (Trimpex) reduce the elimination of zidovudine and therefore increase the blood concentration of zidovudine. This can lead to increased side effects from zidovudine.


A Timeline of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic See Slideshow

Is zidovudine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • Zidovudine is used for preventing transmission of the HIV virus from mother to fetus.
  • Although it is not known whether zidovudine is excreted in breast milk, HIV infected mothers should not breast feed because of the potential risk of transmitting HIV to an infant that is not infected.

What else should I know about zidovudine?

What preparations of zidovudine are available?

  • Capsules: 100 mg
  • Tablet: 300 mg
  • Syrup 50 mg/5 ml
  • Injections 10mg/ml

How should I keep zidovudine stored?

Store at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F). Keep capsules and syrup away from light.


Retrovir (zidovudine, ZDV, formerly called AZT) is a medication (oral and injectable) prescribed for the treatment of infections with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Side effects include:

Severe headache

Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information, and dosing should be reviewed before taking any medication.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

Prevention & Wellness


What is HIV? See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

See more info: zidovudine on RxList
FDA Prescribing Information