Zidovudine (or AZT) was the first drug ever used to successfully treat HIV. Many treatment-experienced people received AZT monotherapy in the past and have developed resistanceHIV which has mutated and is less susceptible to the effects of one or more anti-HIV drugs is said to be resistant. to the drug.
AZT is still precribed, usually in combination with another NRTIA type of anti-HIV drug that works by inhibiting a stage of the HIV life cycle called reverse transcription. Non-nucleosides work in a similar way, but are chemically different. lamivudine (Combivir), but is not the ideal first-line drug due to it's links to lipodystrophy.
Zidovudine and lamivudine remains as the preferred option in pregnant women.
|Generic name:||zidovudine (AZT)|
|Also known as:||ZDV|
|Drug class:||nucleoside analogue|
|Availability in Australia:|
|Presentation:||100mg capsule; 250mg capsule; 10mg per mL, 200 mL syrup|
|What the treatment guidelines say:|
Bone marrow suppression, manifested by macrocytic anemia and/or neutropenia, is seen in some patients. Zidovudine also is associated with gastrointestinal toxicity, fatigue, and possibly mitochondrial toxicity, including lactic acidosis/hepatic steatosis and lipoatrophy.
In the 934 study, participants who took zidovudine had significantly less limb fat at 96 and 144 weeks than those who took tenofovir, and there was a significant loss of fat among zidovudine recipients between 48, 96, and 144 weeks.
In ACTG 5142, limb fat was lowest in patients treated with stavudine, but those treated with zidovudine had significantly less limb fat than those treated with tenofovir . Primarily because of its greater toxicity compared with tenofovir/emtricitabine, zidovudine/lamivudine is now considered an alternative rather than a preferred dual-NRTI option (BI).
However, zidovudine/lamivudine remains as the preferred option in pregnant women. This dual-NRTI has the most safety and efficacy data for both mother and newborn.
Like all anti-HIV drugs, zidovudine must be taken in combination with other drugs to be completely effective. Commonly, zidovudine is combined with one other nucleoside (NRTI) drug> and either a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside, although other combinations are sometimes used. Your doctor will advise you on the right combination of drugs to suit your circumstances.
The normal adult dose is one 250mg capsule taken twice a day.
Regardless of what you read on this website or elsewhere, you should always take your medications according to your doctor's instructions. If you're unsure, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Zidovudine may be taken with or without food.
All drugs can produce side effects in some people. These may be mild, moderate or severe, so you should be aware of potential side effects before starting any drug, and speak to your doctor if you experience side effects that concern you.
It's unlikely you will experience all of these side effects, and you may not experience any side effects at all. Before starting any new drug, ask your doctor about side effects you might experience and discuss strategies for dealing with side effects if they do occur. If you experience any significant side effect you should continue taking your medicine and see your doctor as soon as possible.