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What is Retrovir?

Retrovir is a prescription medication that is used to control HIV infections. Retrovir contains the drug zidovudine and is often used alongside other HIV medications. Retrovir works by lowering the quantity of HIV in the body which allows the immune system to work better. This medication is not a cure for HIV infection and you should continue to take all of your HIV medications and precautions.

Make sure to always read the patient information and instructions before using this medication. Always follow your doctor’s directions.

  • Take Retrovir with or without food.
  • This medication is usually taken two or three times daily.
  • Clarithromycin can prevent your body from fully absorbing this medication. Do not take Retrovir within two hours before or after taking clarithromycin.
  • Retrovir should be taken at the same time every day to maintain an even amount of medication in your body.
  • Continue to take this medication regularly without skipping any doses. Refill your prescription before you run out of medication.

Cautions

Tell your doctor and pharmacist:

  • About your drug and other allergies
  • If you take any other prescription or over-the-counter medications
  • Your medical history particularly of kidney problems, cirrhosis, hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, other liver problems, or low red or white blood cells
  • If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy

You should also know:

  • Do not breast-feed while taking this medication.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medication.
  • Retrovir does not prevent HIV from spreading. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors, toothbrushes, or needles.

Side Effects of Retrovir

Common side effects of Retrovir include but are not limited to:

  • Fever or feeling ill.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Sleeping problems.
  • Loss of appetite.

Get medical help if you have any of the following side effects of zidovudine.

  • Seizures.
  • Mental or mood changes including anxiety, depression, or confusion.
  • Easy or unusual bruising or bleeding.
  • Unexplained weight loss or loss of body fat.
  • Persistent muscle aches or weakness.
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, arms, or legs.
  • Severe tiredness.
  • Joint pain.
  • Vision changes.
  • Changes to the color of your skin or fingernails.
  • Signs of infection including fever, chills, breathing problems, cough, skin sores, or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Signs of an overactive thyroid including bulging eyes, heat intolerance, nervousness, irritability, or an unusual growth in the neck.
  • Signs of Guillain-Barre syndrome such as paralysis, drooping face, trouble speaking, trouble breathing, swallowing problems, or trouble moving your eyes.
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling in your face, lips, or throat.

FAQs

What should I do if I miss a dose of Retrovir?

If you miss a dose of Retrovir, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, then skip your missed dose.

What is the strength of Retrovir?

Retrovir and the generic alternative zidovudine are available in strengths of 100mg and 300mg. Only the brand name Retrovir is available in 250mg strength.

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