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AZT (Generic Zidovudine Injection)

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The injection of zidovudine may cause a reduction in the quantity of red and white blood cells in your blood. Inform your doctor if you currently have or have previously had any bone marrow issues, anaemia (lower-than-normal levels of red blood cells), or any other blood diseases. If you develop any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right away: unusual bleeding or bruising, fever, chills, or other infection-related symptoms, extreme tiredness or weakness, or pale skin.

Additionally, zidovudine injection can result in lactic acidosis, a disease that can be fatal, and liver damage that could be life-threatening (buildup of lactic acid in the blood). If you have liver illness now or ever had it, let your doctor know. Get emergency medical care if you encounter any of the following symptoms, or call your doctor right away: nausea, vomiting, pain in the upper right part of your stomach, loss of appetite, extreme exhaustion, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fast or irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, yellowing of the skin or eyes, feeling cold, especially in the arms or legs, or muscle pain that is different from any muscle pain you typically experience.

Muscle disease may be brought on by zidovudine injection, particularly if it is administered for an extended period of time. If you feel weak, exhausted, or have discomfort in your muscles, call your doctor.

It’s crucial to show up for all of your appointments at the doctor’s office and the lab. To determine how you responded to the zidovudine injection, your doctor will conduct a few lab tests.

Discuss the dangers of receiving an injection of zidovudine with your doctor.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Injections of zidovudine are used in conjunction with other drugs to treat HIV infection. Pregnant HIV-positive women are given zidovudine to lessen the risk of infection spreading to the unborn child. A class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors includes zidovudine injection (NRTIs). It functions by lowering the level of HIV in the blood. Although zidovudine injection does not treat HIV, it may lessen your risk of contracting AIDS and other HIV-related diseases such serious infections or cancer. The risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to others may be reduced by using or taking these drugs, engaging in safer sexual behaviour, and changing other aspects of one’s lifestyle.

How should this medicine be used?

Zidovudine injection is available as a solution (liquid) for intravenous administration. Infants 6 weeks of age and younger may receive it over a period of 30 minutes every 6 hours, though it is typically administered over an hour every 4 hours. Women who are in labour and delivery may get zidovudine infused continuously until the baby is delivered.

If you encounter extreme adverse effects, your doctor might temporarily halt your therapy.

You can administer zidovudine injection at home or get it as an injection in a hospital. Your healthcare practitioner will demonstrate how to utilise the drug if you will be taking zidovudine injection at home. Make sure you comprehend these instructions, and if you have any issues, consult your healthcare professional.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using zidovudine injection,

  • If you have an allergy to latex, zidovudine, any other medications, or any of the other ingredients in zidovudine injection, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist. Inform your doctor if you or the person injecting the medication for you has a latex or rubber allergy if you will be administering the infusion.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or dietary supplements you are currently taking or intend to take. A few cancer chemotherapy drugs including doxorubicin (Doxil), ganciclovir (Cytovene, Valcyte), interferon alfa, ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, Ribasphere), and stavudine should be mentioned (Zerit). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
  • If you have renal illness now or ever have, let your doctor know.
  • If you are breastfeeding a child or intend to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Call your doctor if you conceive while receiving zidovudine injection. If you have HIV or are taking zidovudine injection, you shouldn’t breastfeed.
  • You should be aware that your face, legs, and arms may lose body fat. If you detect this alteration, consult your physician.
  • You should be aware that as you take drugs to treat your HIV infection, your immune system could become stronger and start to fight other infections that were already present in your body. You might begin to exhibit signs of those infections as a result of this. After beginning your treatment with zidovudine injection, be sure to let your doctor know if you experience any new or worsening symptoms.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Injections of zidovudine may have unwanted effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right away:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea (especially in children)
  • Stomach discomfort or cramps
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Heartburn

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you experience any of these signs or any of those in the IMPORTANT WARNING section:

  • Rash
  • Skin blistering or shedding
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Breathing or swallowing challenges
  • Eye, face, tongue, lip, or throat swelling

Other negative effects of zidovudine injection could occur. If you have any strange side effects while taking this medicine, call your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

Overdose signs could include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Vomiting

What other information should I know?

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Retrovir®
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