Common Name: abacavir
How does Ziagen work?Abacavir is used in a combination of drugs to stop the growth of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is responsible for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Abacavir is one of a class of drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). Reverse transcriptase is a part of HIV required to infect cells and make more virus. Abacavir prevents reverse transcriptase from working properly. Abacavir does not cure AIDS and does not prevent it from being spread to others. It does slow further growth or reproduction of HIV when used in combination with other drugs and it seems to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help to delay the development of problems that are related to AIDS or HIV disease.
How should I use Ziagen?Adults: The recommended dose for adults 16 years of age and older is 300 mg twice a day taken with or without food. Children and adolescents: Doses for children and adolescents 3 months to 16 years old are based on body weight as calculated by your doctor. The usual dose is 8 mg per kg body weight two times a day. Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up on doses. If you forget many doses in a row, talk to your doctor about how to resume dosing. Abacavir solution and tablets should be stored at room temperature and protected from excessive light and moisture.
What form(s) does Ziagen come in?Tablets: Abacavir is supplied as a 300 mg yellow capsule-shaped tablet. Nonmedicinal ingredients include colloidal silicon dioxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, cellulose, polysorbate, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, triacetin, and yellow iron oxide. This product does not contain gluten or yeast.Liquid: Abacavir is supplied as a clear-to-yellowish strawberry-banana-flavoured liquid containing 20 mg abacavir per mL. Nonmedicinal ingredients in the solution include citric acid, hydrochloric acid, methylparaben, propylene glycol, propylparaben, saccharin sodium, sodium citrate, sodium hydroxide, and sorbitol solution. This product does not contain starch, gluten, or yeast.
What should I NOT take with Ziagen?Abacavir should not be taken by anyone with significant allergy to any of the ingredients of the medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for Ziagen?Breast-feeding: It is not known whether this drug is excreted in breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended for HIV-positive women. Pregnancy: Adequate studies of the use of this drug by pregnant women are not available. Talk to your doctor for guidance. Allergy: At the time of receiving this prescription, make sure you are given a leaflet and warning card that will help you to recognize the signs and symptoms of allergy to abacavir.