Abacavir


What is Abacavir for ?

Abacavir is used along with other medications to treat HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) infection. It is also used in combination with other antiviral medications to prevent HIV infection in people who have been exposed to it.

How does Abacavir work ?

Abacavir is in a class of medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). It works by decreasing the amount of HIV in the blood.

How should Abacavir be used ?

Abacavir comes as a tablet and a liquid to take by mouth. It is usually taken one or two times a day. Take it exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor. You may take Abacavir with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day. If you have been given Abacavir tablets, swallow it whole with a glass of water. If you have problems swallowing the tablet, you can crush it. Mix the crushed tablet with a small amount of food or drink. Swallow it immediately after mixing, do not leave it exposed to the air for too long. Ensure that you have taken all of the crushed tablet. Use additional food or drink to wash down any remainders of the crushed tablet, if necessary. Let your doctor know if you have problems swallowing the tablet. He may be able to recommend an alternative, such as an oral solution (a liquid). If you have been given Abacavir oral solution, use the dropper or measuring spoon provided to measure out your prescribed dose. Swallow the solution with some water. Abacavir must be taken regularly for it to work well. Do not stop taking Abacavir unless instructed by your doctor. If Abacavir is stopped suddenly, your condition may get worse and become harder to treat. If you have stopped taking Abacavir for a few days or have previously been told to stop Abacavir, DO NOT restart Abacavir without first consulting your doctor.

Common side effects of Abacavir ?

Headache. - Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help. - Loose stools (diarrhea). - Weight gain. - Not hungry. - Change in body fat.

What do I do if I miss a dose ?

Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses. Do not change the dose or stop this drug.

What precautions should I take when taking Abacavir ?

Alert your doctor if you are allergic to Abacavir or similar medicines. - Alert your doctor if you have liver disease. - Abacavir is not recommended for use in babies younger than 3 months.

When do I need to seek medical help ?

Alert your doctor if you think there was an overdose or signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. - These include wheezing, chest tightness, fever, itching, bad cough, blue or gray skin color, seizures, or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. - Very low blood sugar or very high blood sugar. - Very bad dizziness. - Trouble breathing. - Feeling cold. - Very bad belly pain. - Very upset stomach or throwing up. - Very loose stools (diarrhea). - A big weight loss. - Very bad muscle pain or weakness. - Feeling very tired or weak. - Any rash. - Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

Can I take Abacavir with other medicines ?

Inform your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines: - Other anti-viral medicines such as ribavirin, ganciclovir or valganciclovir. - Other HIV medicines such as indinavir or ritonavir. - Phenytoin (a medicine for fits). - Methadone (a pain killer). - Always inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.

Are there any food restrictions ?

Avoid Alcohol.

How do I store Abacavir ?

Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. - Medicines must not be used past the expiry date. - If you have been given the Abacavir oral solution, keep it between 20 to 25°C. Do not freeze. - Throw it away 2 months after you first open it.

Pregnancy Category ?

Category C : Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.

Therapeutic Classification ?

Antivirals.