Didanosine may result in severe or perhaps fatal pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas). Inform your doctor if you regularly consume significant amounts of alcohol, have ever experienced pancreatitis, or have kidney or pancreas illness. Call your doctor right away if you suffer any of the following symptoms: fever, nausea, vomiting, or discomfort or swelling in your stomach.
Lactic acidosis, a potentially fatal disease, and potentially life-threatening liver damage from didanosine are both possible side effects (buildup of lactic acid in the blood). If you are a woman, if you are overweight, or if you have received long-term HIV treatment, your chance of developing lactic acidosis may be higher. If you have liver illness now or ever had it, let your doctor know. If you are taking stavudine, let your doctor know (Zerit). If you are currently on this medicine, your doctor probably won’t advise you to use didanosine. Get emergency medical care if you encounter any of the following symptoms, or call your doctor right away: breathing quickly, heart rate variations, nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss; weight loss, diarrhoea, stomach pain in the upper right area, unusual bleeding or bruises, skin or eye yellowing, dark urine, light bowel movements, excessive exhaustion, cold or blue hands and feet, or aches and pains in the muscles.
Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To monitor your body’s reaction to didanosine, your doctor will request specific lab tests.
The dangers of using didanosine should be discussed with your doctor.
If you need a prescription refill for didanosine, your doctor or chemist will provide you the manufacturer’s patient information leaflet (Medication Guide). If you have any questions, carefully read the information and ask your doctor or chemist. The Medication Guide is also available on the manufacturer’s website or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Didanosine is a drug that is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in combination with other drugs. Didanosine belongs to the category of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). It functions by lowering the level of HIV in the blood. Didanosine does not treat HIV, but it may lessen your risk of getting AIDS and other HIV-related diseases such serious infections or cancer. The danger of transferring the HIV virus to other people may be reduced by taking these medications, engaging in safer sexual behaviour, and altering other aspects of one’s lifestyle.
How should this medicine be used?
Didanosine is available as oral liquid solutions and extended-release (long-acting) capsules. The oral solution is often used once or twice a day, either two hours before or after meals. On an empty stomach, the extended-release capsules are typically taken once daily. Do not change when you take your didanosine each day. Ask your doctor or chemist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Follow the didanosine directions exactly. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.
Do not split, chew, crush, break, or dissolve the extended-release capsules if you are using them. Instead, swallow them whole. If you have trouble swallowing the extended-release capsules whole, let your doctor know.
If you’re using an oral solution, give it a good shake before each dose to ensure that the drug is mixed evenly. To measure the precise amount of liquid for each dose, use a dose-measuring spoon or cup rather than a common household spoon.
Although it doesn’t treat HIV infection, didanosine can regulate it. Even if you are feeling fine, keep taking didanosine. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking didanosine. It may be more challenging to treat your disease if you skip doses or stop taking didanosine.
Other uses for this medicine
Didanosine is occasionally combined with other drugs to assist prevent HIV infection in healthcare professionals or 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 didanosine,
- If you have any allergies, including to any of the chemicals in didanosine capsules or the oral solution, tell your doctor and chemist right away. For a list of the ingredients, consult the Medication Guide or speak with your chemist.
- Inform your physician if you are taking ribavirin or allopurinol (Aloprim, Lopurin, Zyloprim) (Copegus, Rebetol, Virazole). If you are taking either one of these drugs, or both, your doctor will probably advise you not to take didanosine.
- Inform your doctor and chemist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Mention the following and any of the drugs listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section. magnesium or aluminium antacids (Maalox, Mylanta, etc.): itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole are two examples of antifungals; atazanvir (Reyataz), pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam), sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra), moxifloxacin (Avelox), ofloxacin (Floxin), and gatifloxacin (Tequin), among other antibiotics; tetracycline (Sumycin); ganciclovir (Cytovene), docetaxel (Taxotere), delavirdine (Rescriptor), cabazitaxel (Jevtana), hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea), indinavir (Crixivan), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), nelfinavir (Viracept), and paclitaxel (Abraxane, Taxol); ranitidine (Zantac), pentamidine (Nebupent, Pentam), ritonavir (Norvir), sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra). valganciclovir (Valcyte), tipranavir (Aptivus), vincristine, or tenofovir (Viread) (Marqibo). Your doctor might need to alter the dosages you take, the timing of your doses, or close attention to side effects monitoring. Do not forget to tell your doctor about any medications you are taking, including those not on this list, as many other drugs may also interact with didanosine.
- Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease or peripheral neuropathy, which can cause numbness, tingling, burning, or pain in your hands or feet as well as a diminished sense of temperature or touch.
- 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 didanosine. If you have an HIV infection or are on didanosine, you shouldn’t breastfeed.
- You should be aware that didanosine could result in adverse effects that need to be handled quickly before they worsen. Didanosine-taking children might not be able to communicate their side effects to you. Ask the child’s doctor how to determine if the child is experiencing these severe adverse effects if you are giving them didanosine.
- You should be aware that your face, legs, arms, and buttocks may lose body fat. If you detect this alteration, consult your physician.
- You should be aware that when you take HIV medicine, 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. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any new or worsening symptoms after beginning your didanosine treatment.
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?
Didanosine could have negative effects. If this symptom is severe or does not go away, let your doctor know:
Certain adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following signs or those listed in the IMPORTANT CAUTION section:
- Breathing or swallowing challenges
- Discomfort, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
- Vision alterations
- Having trouble seeing colours clearly
Further adverse effects of didanosine are possible. 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 (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) 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?
Didanosine capsules should be kept safely out of children’s reach in the original container they were packaged in. Keep them away from excess heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom). Do not open the container of didanosine oral solution while it is in the refrigerator, and discard any unused medication after 30 days.
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, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
- Reduced appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating in the stomach
- Joint or muscle ache
- Extreme fatigue
- Irregular, rapid, or sluggish heartbeat
- Fast or deep breathing
- Breathing difficulty
- Urine that is dark yellow or brown.
- Uncommon bruising or bleeding
- vomiting something that looks like coffee grounds or is bloody
- Dim stools
- Eyes or skin that have a yellow tint
- Being chilly
- Flu-like symptoms
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.
Do not be without didanosine. 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.
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