|I have read that AZT is a killer and should not be taken
Mar 30, 2000
I have read that AZT is a killer and very toxic to the body
why is it still the first drug that is given to HIV patients
| Response from Dr. Holodniy
In my opinion, this is an urban myth about AZT. It got a bad rap several years ago because many people developed bad toxicities and died while taking the drug. The reason for this was two fold. One, the doses given in the late 80s and early 90s were twice as high as the dose we give now. This resulted in lots of toxicities that are much less now with the lower dose. Second, it was the only drug around. As monotherapy, it is not that potent of an antiviral, and people were still progressing, developing AIDS and dying during this time. This was not the result of the drug, but the natural history of the disease. When combined with 2-3 other HIV drugs, AZT is still part of a potent regimen.
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