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Name: Zalcitabine

Pregnancy Category C

Drug classes

  • Antiviral drug

Therapeutic actions

Synthetic purine nucleoside, which is active against HIV, inhibits cell protein synthesis, and leads to cell death without viral replication.


Combination therapy with zidovudine in advanced HIV infection


Contraindicated in the presence of life-threatening allergy to any component, pregnancy, lactation.

Use caution in the presence of compromised bone marrow, impaired renal or hepatic function.

Adverse effects

  • CNS: Headache, insomnia, myalgia, asthenia, malaise, dizziness, paresthesia, somnolence, peripheral neuropathy
  • GI: Nausea, GI pain, diarrhea, anorexia, vomiting, dyspepsia, oral ulcers
  • Hematologic: Agranulocytopenia, severe anemia requiring transfusions
  • Other: Fever, diaphoresis, dyspnea, rash, taste perversion

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