Stavudine (By mouth)

Introduction

Stavudine (STAV-ue-deen)

Treats HIV infection. HIV causes AIDS. This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs may slow the progress of the disease.

Brand Name(s)

Zerit

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • Allow at least 12 hours between doses.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Shake the bottle of medicine well just before you measure each dose.
  • Stavudine is taken with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Capsules: Store at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Ask your pharmacist about the best way to dispose of any leftover capsules after you have finished your treatment.
  • Oral liquid: Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused medicine after 30 days, but do not throw it in the trash. Ask your pharmacist about the best way to dispose of medicine you do not use.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how stavudine works. Tell your doctor if you are also using any of the following:
    • Other medicines to treat HIV, including didanosine, zidovudine
    • Doxorubicin
    • Hydroxyurea
    • Interferon, ribavirin
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, pancreas problems, gallstones, diabetes, or a history of nerve problems.
  • Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood)
    • Liver problems
    • Peripheral neuropathy
    • Pancreatitis
  • This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to others. Always practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles or other items that may have blood or body fluids on them.
  • Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. This could cause a hidden infection in your body to become active. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fast breathing, trouble breathing, nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness, severe weakness, tiredness, or confusion
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, fever, nausea, vomiting

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Mild skin rash or itching
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/12/2016

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