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Last updated on November 22nd, 2021

Generic names: Abacavir, ABC

Brand name: Ziagen

What is Ziagen?

Ziagen is a popular antiretroviral medicinal product that has been labeled as a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. It is indicated for the treatment of HIV infections and AIDS. Ziagen is not a cure for HIV infection or AIDS. This drug helps keep HIV from reproducing in the body. It is used as second line therapy after initial therapy with AZT.

Ask your physician or pharmacist for more information about the positive influence of this product.

What important information should I know about Ziagen?

Continue to take this medication until the end of the cure corse, even if you start to feel better. Stopping the medication too early may worsen some conditions.

Ziagen may cause dizziness or coordination problems. Be very careful about driving, operating machinery, performing hazardous activities, climbing until you know how you react to this medicament.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can cause dangerous side effects when taken together with Ziagen. Alcohol may increase the risk of damage to the liver.

Always tell a doctor before giving Ziagen to a child.

Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking Ziagen. Early signs of lactic acidosis generally get worse over time and this condition can be fatal.

What should I tell my doctor before I take this drug?

Your medic has to know about:

  • heart disorders (such as heart rhythm problems)
  • liver or kidney disease
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to abacavir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • low blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • enlarged liver
  • pregnancy, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant

How to take Ziagen?

Note: This remedy was prescribed to you only. Don’t share this medicament with others. Follow strictly your doctor’s recommendations. Don’t take more or longer than your doctor recommended.

This medicament is available in the form of oral solution (liquid) or capsules to take orally.

The recommended dose of this drug for adults is 300 milligrams (mg). The average dose of medication for children age 3 months to 16 years is 8 mg/kg. It is usually taken two times a day, at regular intervals. Dosages above 300 mg two times a day are not recommended.

Ziagen is taken with some liquid. It is important to drink several glasses of water each day while you are taking Ziagen to protect your kidneys. You may take it with food or on an empty stomach. In order to minimize stomach irritation and help your body absorb the drug is possible to combine with meals.

The capsules should be swallowed whole. Do not chew, break, open or crush them. Shake the solution well before measuring a dose to mix the medicine evenly. Use a specially marked measuring spoon or medicine cup to be sure of the correct dose.

Take this medication exactly as stated on your prescription label and recommended by your physician.

What should you do if you miss a dose of Ziagen?

If you forget to take a dose of Ziagen, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

What should you do if you overdose?

Any drug taken large doses can have serious consequences. If you feel an overdose, apprise your physician instantly.


  • isoniazid
  • lamivudine
  • tenofovir
  • zidovudine
  • medicine that contains abacavir methadone
  • chloral hydrate

This is not a complete list of interactions. Ask your medical practitioner before taking this medicine for a specific disease.

Consult medic about the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

What side-effects may occur?

  • Liver problems, an enlarged liver, yellowing eyes, skin
  • Fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Indigestion, or upset stomach, stomach pain or uneasiness
  • Fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms
  • Increased urination or extreme thirst, fruity breath odor
  • Problems with breathing, chest pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Numbness, tingling in your hands or feet (tremor), muscle pain or weakness
  • Allergic reaction ( difficulty breathing; itching; skin rash or swelling; hives; swelling of your faceor throator lipsor tongue )
  • Difficulty urinating (urinary retention), dark urine, diarrhea or loose stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth, pale skin
  • Insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep)
  • Fatigue, faintness
  • Weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
  • Headache, dizziness, ringing in your ears or hearing loss
  • Mental, mood changes (abnormal dreams, abnormal thinking, gloss of contact with reality, restlessness, confusion, hallucinations, blurred vision)

If these persist or worsen, make known to your health care provider promptly. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. If you have other reactions not mentioned above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

How should Ziagen be stored?

Ziagen should be stored at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Protect from moisture, direct heat, and light. Do not store in the bathroom or near a sink. Keep Ziagen out of the reach of children and away from pets.

Warning: Before taking the drug you need to consult your doctor.The information contained in this article is not intended to cover all possibleprecautions, drug interactions, adverse effects, directions, uses, allergic reactions or warnings.

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