Ziagen / Abacavir Sulfate

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:50 by admin
Abacavir Sulfate, also known as Ziagen, is indicated for the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) in adults and pediatric patients older than three months. An oral medication taken twice daily, Ziagen is one of a class of medicines called nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and is taken in combination with other anti-HIV medications. This combination of medicines helps to lower the amount of HIV found in the blood. The drug, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998 and made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is available in tablet and liquid form.

Side effects of Ziagen use include, but may not be limited to, arrhythmia, muscle pain, lethargy, nausea, headache and loss of appetite.

A black box warning added to the package insert indicates that a potentially fatal hypersensitivity, or allergic reaction, has been associated with the use of Ziagen in at least 5 percent of patients. Symptoms of this reaction may include skin rash, fever, nausea, abdominal pain and severe tiredness. Anyone who experiences a hypersensitivity reaction must stop taking the medicine and call their health care provider immediately. Ziagen should not be taken again after a reaction occurs because more severe symptoms, which may include life-threatening low blood pressure or death, may arise within hours. All NRTIs can cause lactic acidosis, a fatal metabolic disturbance that triggers an abnormal buildup of lactic acid.

In July 2003, GSK notified healthcare professionals of a high rate of early virologic non-response observed in a GSK-sponsored clinical study of therapy-naive adults with HIV infection receiving once-daily three-drug combination therapy with Epivir, Ziagen and Viread. Based on these results, Ziagen and Epivir in combination with Viread should not be used as a triple antiretroviral therapy when considering a new treatment regimen for naive or pre-treated patients.

See your doctor if you have experienced an adverse reaction after using Ziagen. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. HIV & AIDS Drugs: Overview
  2. Arrhythmia: Overview
  3. Fatigue: Overview
  4. Headaches
  5. Joints & Muscles: Overview
  6. Lactic Acidosis: Overview
  7. Nausea: Overview
  8. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / Erythema Multiforme
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