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How Does Zidovudine Work

Here's a taste of what has to offer on this topic:
Get the Facts

An Overview of Retrovir (Zidovudine, AZT)

zye-DOE-vyoo-deen Brand Name: Retrovir Other Name(s): AZT, ZDV, azidothymidine Drug Class: Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors Approved Use: Treatment of HIV Infection; Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV WARNING: Zidovudine can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include lactic acidosis (buildup of acid in the blood), liver problems, and blood disorders, including severe anemia. Use...
Ask the Experts


I am working in treatment advocacy with HIV patients. Recently one of my patients stated that she was told by a kidney specialist that 300 mg of Zidovudine is to strong for her liver. she is having difficulty having the recommended dose of 100 mg...
Keith Henry, M.D.

Response from Keith Henry, M.D.

University of Minnesota, School of Medicine
It is somewhat unusual for standard doses of zidovudine to be too strong for the liver . If she is seeing a kidney specialist and has some degree of kidney failure then the dose of lamivudine may be too high for her kidneys and the dose may need to... Read more »

tenofovir then zidovudine?

hi doctor, after prolonged use of atripla as the first line drug can a zidovudine based HAART be used as second line? then what the other 2 drugs should be along with zidovudine in that 2nd line HAART? ...
Joseph McGowan, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Response from Joseph McGowan, M.D., F.A.C.P.

North Shore University Hospital
Yes, Sometimes, if the HIV virus develops resistance to tenofovir it will mutate down a pathway that will preserve the activity of zidovudine (called the K65R mutation). Also, if there is no drug resistance then zidovudine would be able to work.The... Read more »

Switch from Zidovudine

My wife with a baseline CD4 of 83 (12.8%), and viral load of 2071 is on Zidovudine, Lamivudine, and Nevirapine for 6 weeks. She is also taking Bactrim DS for 2 weeks. While she has tolerated the drugs, she has recently reported a decline in white...
Brian Conway, M.D.

Response from Brian Conway, M.D.

University of British Columbia
You ask a very analytical question. Your doctor is right in that the combination of Bactrim and zidovudine may be particularly bad for the white blood cells, especially in someone who is deficient in folate. Sometimes, before making any changes in... Read more »

zidovudine, didanosine, kaletra

Is the above combination suitable for one considered to be resistant to combivir and effavirenz? I have come across these in the internet. My doctor thinks I could be resistant to combivir and effavirenz. I have been on them for 2 years. Due to...
Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

Response from Robert J. Frascino, M.D.

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation
Hello,Ideally speaking, if resistance develops to a HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) regimen, I recommend getting a resistance test to help guide the choice of the next regimen. If resistance testing is not an option in Zimbabwe and your... Read more »
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