Lactic acidosis, or the accumulation of acid in the blood, which is a side effect of stavudine that can be serious or even fatal, would likely require hospitalisation for treatment. If you have received prolonged treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are overweight, or are a woman, you are more likely to develop lactic acidosis. If you are pregnant and using didanosine and stavudine, the risk may also be increased (Videx). If you have or have had had liver illness, including hepatitis C virus infection, let your doctor know. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, fast or irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulties, dark yellow or brown urine, unusual bleeding or bruising, flu-like symptoms, light-colored bowel movements, yellowing of the skin or eyes, pain in the upper right part of your stomach, and feeling cold, especially in the arms or legs; or muscular ache that is not like the regular muscle pain you experience
Stavudine may result in severe or perhaps fatal pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas). Inform your doctor if you consume significant amounts of alcohol now or in the past and if you currently have or have previously had pancreatitis. When taking stavudine, avoid drinking alcohol. Moreover, let your doctor know if you take didanosine (Videx). Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, or fever may accompany stomach pain or swelling.
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor your body’s reaction to stavudine, your doctor may prescribe specific tests.
You should discuss the dangers of taking stavudine with your doctor.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is treated with stavudine in combination with other drugs. The drug stavudine belongs to the group of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). It functions by lowering the level of HIV in the blood. Although stavudine does not treat HIV, it may lessen your risk of contracting AIDS and other HIV-related conditions such serious infections or cancer. The risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to others may be reduced by taking these medications, engaging in safer sexual behaviour, and changing other aspects of one’s lifestyle.
How should this medicine be used?
Both a liquid oral solution and a capsule form of stavudine are available for oral use. Every 12 hours, it is often taken twice daily with lots of water and either meal or no food. Take stavudine at roughly the same times every day to make it easier for you to remember to take it. Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Stavudine should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Shake the bottle thoroughly before each use to mix the medication evenly if you’re giving the oral solution to a youngster. To measure the dosage for the kid, use the provided measuring cup.
Although not curing HIV, stavudine manages the virus. Stavudine should still be taken even if you feel OK. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking stavudine. Ask your doctor or chemist for more stavudine when you start to run low on it. Missing doses or abruptly stopping stavudine use could make treating your illness more challenging.
Other uses for this medicine
In rare cases, stavudine is combined with additional drugs to treat HIV infection in healthcare professionals and other individuals who were unintentionally exposed to the virus. Discuss the potential dangers of using this medicine for your illness with your doctor.
Ask your doctor or chemist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking stavudine,
- If you have any allergies, including to any of the chemicals in stavudine capsules or the oral solution, tell your doctor and chemist right away. Get an ingredient list from your chemist or look it up in the drug handbook.
- Inform your physician and chemist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are using. Including those referred to in the IMPORTANT CAUTION section as well as doxorubicin, hydroxyurea (Droxia, Siklos), ribavirin (Rebetol, Ribasphere), or zidovudine (Retrovir, in Combivir, inTrizivir). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a closer eye on you for adverse effects.
- Inform your doctor if you are on dialysis, have kidney disease, diabetes, or peripheral neuropathy now or ever (a type of nerve damage that causes tingling, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet).
- Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking stavudine. If you are HIV positive or using stavudine, you should not breastfeed.
- It’s important for you to be aware that side effects from stavudine may occur and need to be handled quickly before they worsen. The negative effects that children using stavudine may not be able to communicate to you. Ask the kid’s doctor how you can determine if the child is experiencing these severe side effects if you are given stavudine to a youngster.
- It’s important for you to be aware that your face, legs, and arms may lose body fat. If you see this alteration, consult your doctor.
- It’s important to be aware that while you’re taking drugs to treat your HIV infection, your immune system could become stronger and start to fight other infections that were previously present in your body. You might start to experience those infections’ symptoms as a result. As soon as you begin taking stavudine, let your doctor know if you experience any new or worsening symptoms.
- The amount of sucrose in each teaspoon (5 mL) of stavudine oral solution is 50 mg, which should be noted if you have diabetes.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Side effects with stavudine are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, consult your doctor right once:
Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you suffer any of the symptoms below or any of those in the IMPORTANT CAUTION section:
- Discomfort, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
- Having trouble using your hands and feet
Stavudine may result in additional adverse effects. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact 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).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. The capsules should be kept at room temperature, away from sources of extreme heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). After 30 days, discard the unused portion of the oral solution after keeping it in the refrigerator for storage.
Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your chemist or the garbage/recycling agency in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
In case of emergency/overdose
Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. 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:
- Discomfort or tingling in the hands or feet, weakness, or numbness
- Unexpected or uncommon stomach ache
- Weakness or fatigue
- Breathing difficulty
What other information should I know?
No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding prescription refills should be directed to your chemist.
Stavudine should be kept on hand. Do not put off getting a refill on your prescription until you are out of medicine.
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.