Ziagen 300 mg

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Ziagen from online pharmacy: South Africa
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About Ziagen

What Ziagen is used for

The name of your medicine is ZIAGEN. ZIAGEN is an antiretroviral medication used in combination therapy for the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. It is used in combination with other antiretrovirals to reduce the HIV in your blood. ZIAGEN can be obtained with a prescription from your doctor.

What Ziagen does

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus. Infection with HIV damages the immune system and can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and other related illnesses.

ZIAGEN is an antiretroviral medication. ZIAGEN in combination with other antiretrovirals reduces the HIV in your blood. However, ZIAGEN does not have this effect in all patients. Your doctor will be monitoring the effectiveness of your treatment. ZIAGEN does not cure AIDS or kill the HIV virus, but may help to prevent further damage to the immune system by slowing down the production of new viruses. At this time, there is no evidence that ZIAGEN will help you live longer or have fewer of the medical problems that are associated with HIV infection or AIDS. Because of this, you must be sure to be seen regularly by your health care provider.

When Ziagen should not be used

Do not take ZIAGEN if:

  • you are allergic (hypersensitive) to the active substance abacavir, which is also included in medicines called KIVEXA and TRIZIVIR.

  • you are allergic to any nonmedicinal ingredient in ZIAGEN (see What the important nonmedicinal ingredients are:).

  • you have moderate or severe liver disease.

If you are not sure whether you should be taking ZIAGEN, please discuss with your doctor before taking this medicine.

What the medicinal ingredient is


Each ZIAGEN 300 mg tablet contains 300 mg of abacavir as abacavir sulfate.

Oral Solution

Each millilitre of ZIAGEN 20 mg/mL oral solution contains 20 mg of abacavir as abacavir sulfate.

What the important nonmedicinal ingredients for Ziagen are

ZIAGEN tablets also contain colloidal silicon dioxide, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, polysorbate 80, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, triacetin, and yellow iron oxide.

ZIAGEN oral solution also contains artificial strawberry and banana flavors, citric acid (anhydrous), hydrochloric acid, methylparaben, propylene glycol, propylparaben, saccharin sodium, sodium citrate (dihydrate), sodium hydroxide, and sorbitol solution.

What dosage forms Ziagen comes in

ZIAGEN is available in a 300 mg tablet and 20 mg/mL oral solution.

Warnings and Precautions

Serious Warnings and Precautions

Hypersensitivity Reaction: Patients taking ZIAGEN may develop a hypersensitivity reaction (serious allergic reaction) which can be life threatening if you continue to take ZIAGEN.

Your risk of this allergic reaction is much higher if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701 than if you do not. Your doctor can determine with a blood test if you have this gene variation. Even if you don’t have this gene variation, you may still experience this type of allergic reaction.

If you have two or more of the following sets of symptoms, you may be having this kind of reaction:

  • Rash

  • Fever

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain

  • Severe tiredness, achiness or general ill feeling

  • Sore throat, shortness of breath, or cough

A written list of these symptoms is on the Warning Card provided by your pharmacist. You should carry this Warning Card with you. If you notice these symptoms while taking ZIAGEN, stop taking ZIAGEN and call your doctor immediately.

If you have had this reaction to ZIAGEN, never take ZIAGEN or any other medicine containing abacavir (such as KIVEXA or TRIZIVIR) again, regardless of whether you have the HLA-B*5701 gene variation, as within hours you may experience a life-threatening lowering of your blood pressure or death.

It is important if you have stopped taking ZIAGEN either on medical advice or because you think you are having side effects or due to other illness, that you contact your doctor for advice before restarting ZIAGEN. Your doctor will check whether any symptoms you had before stopping may be related to this hypersensitivity reaction. If your doctor has any doubt about this, you will be advised to never to take ZIAGEN or any other medicine containing abacavir such as KIVEXA or TRIZIVIR again.

You should return all of your unused ZIAGEN to the doctor or pharmacist for proper disposal.

Lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood) and swollen and fatty liver (hepatomegaly with steatosis), including fatal cases have been reported in patients using nucleoside analogues, including ZIAGEN and other antiretrovirals (see Side Effects and What to Do About Them:).

About 8 in every 100 patients, who are treated with ZIAGEN, develop hypersensitivity reaction to the active ingredient abacavir. The symptoms usually include fever and a skin rash. Other frequently observed signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, cough, headache, and severe tiredness. Other symptoms may include sore throat, joint or muscle pain, swelling of the neck.

Occasionally inflammation of the eye (conjunctivitis), ulcers in the mouth or low blood pressure may occur. The symptoms of this allergic reaction usually occur in the first six weeks of treatment with ZIAGEN, but may occur at any time, and get worse with continued treatment.

Before you use ZIAGEN, talk to your doctor or pharmacist

  • About all your medical conditions.

  • If you have liver disease.

  • If you have been tested and know whether or not you have a gene variation HLA-B*5701.

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

  • About all the medicines you are taking including vitamins, herbal supplements and nonprescription drugs.

Other Special Warnings

The class of medicines to which ZIAGEN belongs (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) (NRTIs) can cause a condition called lactic acidosis (high levels of lactic acid in the blood), together with an enlarged liver. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include feeling of weakness, loss of appetite, sudden unexplained weight loss, upset stomach and difficulty breathing or rapid breathing. This rare, but serious side effect occurs more often in women. If you have liver disease you may also be more at risk of getting this condition. While you are being treated with ZIAGEN your doctor will monitor you closely for any signs that you may be developing lactic acidosis.

Some HIV medicines including abacavir may increase your risk of heart attack. If you have heart problems, smoke or suffer from diseases that increase your risk of heart disease such as high blood pressure and diabetes, tell your doctor. Do not stop taking your medication unless you are advised to do so by your doctor.

ZIAGEN helps to control your condition but is not a cure for HIV infection. You will need to take it every day. Unless you suspect that you are having an allergic reaction with ZIAGEN, do not stop taking your medicine without first talking to your doctor.

Treatment with ZIAGEN has not been shown to reduce the risk of passing HIV infection on to others by sexual contact or by blood transfer. You should continue to use appropriate precautions to prevent this.

You may continue to develop other infections and other illnesses associated with HIV disease. You should therefore keep in regular contact with your doctor while taking ZIAGEN.

Use of This Medicine During Pregnancy and Breast-feeding

If you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant soon, or if you are breast-feeding, please inform your doctor before taking any medicines. The safe use of ZIAGEN in human pregnancy has not been established. Your doctor will advise whether you should continue to take ZIAGEN.

Babies and infants exposed to Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs) during labor, show minor temporary increases in blood levels of lactate. The clinical importance of these temporary increases is unknown.

There have been very rare reports of diseases that affect the nervous system such as delayed development and seizures.

These findings do not affect current recommendations to use antiretroviral therapy in pregnant women to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies.

The active substance abacavir in this medicine is likely to be found in human breast milk. There are no safety data available following treatment with ZIAGEN in babies under three months of age. You are therefore recommended not to breast-feed your baby while taking ZIAGEN. It is recommended that HIV infected women do not breast-feed their infants under any circumstances in order to avoid transmission of HIV from mother to child.

Interactions with Ziagen

ZIAGEN is unlikely to interact with other medicines you are being treated with; however, it is important that you tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including those you have bought yourself. In men, alcohol does increase the amount of abacavir in your blood. However, the meaning of this is unknown. This interaction has not been studied in women.

Proper Use of Ziagen

Usual dose

Take ZIAGEN as your doctor has advised you. If you are unsure about how to take it, ask your doctor or pharmacist.


The recommended oral dose of ZIAGEN for adults is 600 mg daily administered as either 300 mg twice daily or 600 mg once daily, in combination with other antiretroviral agents. The use of 600 mg once daily may be associated with a higher incidence of severe hypersensitivity reactions.

The use of once daily ZIAGEN 600 mg has not been studied in patients less than 18 years of age.

The use of once daily ZIAGEN 600 mg has not been studied in elderly patients or patients with co-morbid conditions.

Adolescents Over 12 years

The recommended dose of ZIAGEN is 300 mg (one tablet or 15 mL of oral solution) twice daily in combination with other antiretroviral agents.

Adolescents and Pediatric Patients (over three months of age to age 12)

The recommended oral dose of ZIAGEN for adolescent and pediatric patients 3 months up to 12 years of age is 8 mg/kg twice daily (up to a maximum of 300 mg twice daily) in combination with other antiretroviral agents.

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