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Name: Zidovudine

Pregnancy Category C

Drug classes

  • Antiviral drug

Therapeutic actions

Thymidine analogue isolated from the sperm of herring; drug is activated to a triphosphate form that inhibits replication of some retroviruses, including HIV, HTLV III, LAV, ARV.


Management of certain adult patients with symptomatic HIV infection (AIDS and advanced ARC) who have a history of cytologically confirmed P. carinii pneumonia or an absolute CD4 (T4 helper/inducer) lymphocyte count of less than 200/mm3 in the peripheral blood before therapy is begun (parenteral)

Management of patients with HIV infection who have evidence of impaired immunity

HIV-infected children older than 3 mo who have HIV-related symptoms or who are asymptomatic with abnormal laboratory values indicating significant HIV-related immunosuppression


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
  • GI: Nausea, GI pain, diarrhea, anorexia, vomiting, dyspepsia
  • Hematologic: Agranulocytopenia, severe anemia requiring transfusions
  • Other: Fever, diaphoresis, dyspnea, rash, taste perversion

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