Proper Use

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Also, do not stop taking this medicine without checking with your doctor first. When your supply of this medicine is running low, contact your doctor or pharmacist ahead of time. Do not allow yourself to run out of this medicine.

This medicine comes with a patient information sheet. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Keep using zidovudine for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better. It is also important to take this medicine together with other medicines for HIV. Be sure to take all of the medicines your doctor ordered, and to take them at the right times. Only take medicine that your doctor has prescribed specifically for you. Do not share your medicine with other people.

For patients using zidovudine oral solution or syrup:

  • Shake it before use. Use a specially marked measuring spoon or other device to measure each dose accurately. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.

This medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses. If you need help in planning the best times to take your medicine, talk with your doctor.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For HIV infection:
    • For oral dosage forms (capsules, solution, syrup, and tablets):
      • Adults—300 milligrams (mg) 2 times a day in combination with other anti-HIV medicines.
      • Children and infants 4 weeks of age and older—Dose is based on body weight or body size and must be determined by your child's doctor.
        • Weighs 30 kilograms (kg) or more—600 milligrams (mg) per day or 480 milligrams per square meter of body surface area (mg/m²) a day in divided doses.
        • Weighs 9 kg to less than 30 kg—18 mg per kg per day in divided doses.
        • Weighs 4 kg to less than 9 kg—24 mg per kg per day in divided doses.
  • To help prevent pregnant women from passing HIV to their babies during pregnancy and at birth:
    • For oral dosage form (capsules, syrup):
      • Pregnant women (after 14 weeks of pregnancy, up to the start of labor)—100 milligrams (mg) 5 times a day until the start of labor.
      • Newborn infants—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight every 6 hours starting 12 hours after birth and continuing through 6 weeks of age.
    • For oral dosage form (solution):
      • Pregnant women (after 14 weeks of pregnancy, up to the start of labor)—100 milligrams (mg) 5 times a day, 200 mg every 8 hours, or 300 mg every 12 hours until the start of labor.
      • Newborn infants—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 2 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) (0.9 mg per pound) of body weight every 6 hours starting within 8 to 12 hours of birth and continuing through 6 weeks of age.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Do not freeze the oral liquid.