HEALTH GUIDE REFERENCE FROM A.D.A.M
Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs may slow the progress of the disease.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to abacavir, or if you have liver disease.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one. Your doctor might ask you to sign some forms to show that you understand this information.
- Abacavir is taken with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.
- You may take this medicine with or without food.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. You may store the oral liquid in the refrigerator, but do not freeze the oral liquid.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking methadone or other medicines to treat HIV or AIDS, such as Epzicom? or Trizivir®.
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have liver disease.
- You should not breast feed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you may give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have 2 or more of the following groups of symptoms. These may be signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction to the medicine:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain.
- Severe tiredness, aching, or general ill feeling.
- Sore throat, shortness of breath, or cough.
- Ask your pharmacist for a Warning Card listing the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Carry the card with you at all times.
- Do not stop using this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you stop taking this medicine for any reason, do not start taking it again without talking to your doctor first.
- If you must stop using abacavir because of an allergic reaction, you should never use the medicine again. A worse reaction, possibly even death, can occur if you use the medicine again. Return the unused medicine to your doctor or pharmacist.
- When you start taking HIV medicines, your immune system may get stronger. If you have infections that are hidden in your body, such as pneumonia, herpes virus, or tuberculosis, you may notice new symptoms when your body tries to fight them. If this occurs, be sure to tell your doctor.
- This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles with anyone.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Blistering, peeling, red skin rash.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate.
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
- Extreme weakness, tiredness, or confusion.
- Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Rapid breathing or trouble breathing.
- Rapid weight gain.
- Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
- Unusual bleeding or bruising.
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Depression or anxiety.
- Ear pain or discharge.
- Gaining weight around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist.
- Loss of appetite.
- Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain.
- Muscle pain or tenderness.
- Skin rash.
- Sores in your mouth.
- Trouble sleeping or abnormal dreams.
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