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stavudine

Pronunciation: STA vue deen

Brand: Zerit

Zerit 15 mg

red/yellow, capsule, imprinted with BMS 1964, 15

Image of Zerit 15 mg
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Zerit 20 mg

orange, capsule, imprinted with BMS 1965, 20

Image of Zerit 20 mg
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Zerit 30 mg

capsule, orange, imprinted with BMS 1966, 30

Image of Zerit 30 mg
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Zerit 40 mg

orange, capsule, imprinted with BMS 1967, 40

Image of Zerit 40 mg
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What is the most important information I should know about stavudine?

Multum donot

Stavudine should not be taken together with any HIV combination that includes zidovudine (Combivir, Retrovir, or Trizivir).

Multum emt

Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking stavudine. Early symptoms may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

Multum emt

Stavudine can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver or pancreas. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms while taking stavudine: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Before taking stavudine, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, a history of pancreatitis, or if you have used a medicine similar to stavudine in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), emtricitabine (Atripla, Complera, Emtriva, Truvada), lamivudine (Epivir, Combivir, Epzicom, Trizivir), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), or zidovudine (Retrovir).

What is stavudine?

Stavudine is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.

Stavudine is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Stavudine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Stavudine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking stavudine?

Multum donot

You should not take stavudine if you are allergic to it.

Multum emt

Stavudine should not be taken together with any HIV combination that includes zidovudine (Combivir, Retrovir, or Trizivir).

Multum emt

Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking stavudine. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, if you are a woman, or if you have taken certain HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

Stavudine can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver or pancreas. Tell your doctor if you have liver disease or a history of pancreatitis.

To make sure you can safely take stavudine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • diabetes (stavudine liquid contains 250 milligrams of sucrose per teaspoon); or
  • if you have used a medicine similar to stavudine in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), emtricitabine (Atripla, Complera, Emtriva, Truvada), lamivudine (Epivir, Combivir, Epzicom, Trizivir), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), or zidovudine (Retrovir).
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication is harmful to an unborn baby. HIV can be passed to the baby if the mother is not properly treated during pregnancy. Stavudine may also be more likely to cause lactic acidosis in a pregnant woman. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection while you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of stavudine on the baby.

Multum nobrfeed

You should not breast-feed while you are using stavudine. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk.

How should I take stavudine?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Multum donot

Do not take stavudine as your only HIV medication. HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

Stavudine can be taken with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals to keep a steady amount of the drug in your body at all times. Stavudine is usually given once every 12 hours.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in your weight. Stavudine doses are based on weight.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Multum emt

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any visits to your doctor.

Multum rt

Store stavudine capsules at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed.

Multum refig

Store the liquid medicine in the refrigerator, do not freeze. Throw away any unused liquid after 30 days.

Throw away any unused or expired stavudine in a closed container or sealed bag. You may also ask your pharmacist where to locate a community pharmaceutical take-back disposal program.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include numbness, burning, pain, or tingly feeling, nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

What should I avoid while taking stavudine?

Multum noalcohol

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of pancreas or liver damage while you are taking stavudine.

Multum donot

Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

What are the possible side effects of stavudine?

Multum emt

Stop using stavudine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum emt

This medication may cause lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and get worse over time. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as:

  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs;
  • trouble breathing;
  • feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak;
  • stomach pain, nausea with vomiting; or
  • fast or uneven heart rate.
Multum donot

Stop using stavudine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • signs of a new infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or unusual bleeding, loss of appetite, mouth sores;
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • increased sweating, tremors in your hands, anxiety, feeling irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);
  • diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex;
  • swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid);
  • weakness, numbness, pain, or prickly feeling in your hands or feet;
  • problems with walking, breathing, speech, swallowing, or eye movement; or
  • severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • mild nausea;
  • mild skin rash; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect stavudine?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • didanosine (Videx);
  • doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Rubex);
  • hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea);
  • interferon-alfa (Roferon, Intron, Rebetron); or
  • ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetol, RibaPak, Ribasphere, RibaTab, Virazole).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with stavudine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about stavudine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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