Ziagen is a brand name medication for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The active ingredient in Ziagen is a generic medicine called abacavir, which is a type of drug called a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI).
While not a cure for HIV, Ziagen helps prevent further damage to the immune system. Doctors prescribe this medication to slow down the production of new viruses as well as increase the amount of infection-fighting white blood cells.
Ziagen works by blocking the action of an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which is needed in the process of viral multiplication. By interfering with this process, Ziagen stops the HIV from multiplying.
Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. The usual adult dose is 600mg daily taken orally. You can take either 300mg twice daily or 600mg once daily, in combination with other antiretroviral agents. If you are unable to swallow tablets, Ziagen also comes in a liquid formulation.
These may not be all the side effects of Ziagen 300mg.
Do not take this medication if you’ve previously had an allergic reaction to the medicinal ingredient abacavir or to any of the other ingredients found in Ziagen. You should not take Ziagen if you have the HLA-B*5701 gene variation. Do not take this medication if you have moderate or severe liver disease.
Before taking this medication, you should be screened for the HLA-B*5701 gene variation. Patients who have the HLA-B*5701 gene variation have a high risk of developing a serious allergic reaction to abacavir, which is the medicinal ingredient Ziagen. This hypersensitivity reaction can be life threatening if you continue to take Ziagen.
Store Ziagen tablets between 15°C and 30°C.
AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by a virus called HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). HIV damages the immune system, which makes patients more susceptible to organisms that cause disease. Symptoms of an HIV infection may include fever, chills, rash, night sweats, mouth ulcers, sore throat and fatigue. While there is no cure right now, HIV can be managed for many years with proper treatment and medical care. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. Eventually, HIV destroys the immune system so that the person is diagnosed with AIDS. AIDS is the last stage of infection that occurs when your immune system is badly damaged and you become vulnerable to “opportunistic” infections. When the number of your CD4 cells falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (200 cells/mm3), you are considered to have progressed to AIDS. Normally, the CD4 count of an uninfected person who is in good health ranges from 500 cells/mm3 to 1,600 cells/mm3. You can also be diagnosed with AIDS if you develop one or more opportunistic infections, regardless of your CD4 count. Gay and bisexual men are the population most affected by HIV. You can become infected with HIV in several ways, including by having sex, from blood transfusions or sharing needles.
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