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Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Another commonly used name is d4T .
Stavudine (STAV-yoo-deen) (also known as d4T) is used in the treatment of the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus responsible for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Stavudine (d4T) will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS; however, it helps to keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay the development of problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease. Stavudine will not keep you from spreading HIV to other people. People who receive this medicine may continue to have the problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease.
Stavudine may cause some serious side effects, including peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include tingling, burning, numbness, and pain in the hands or feet. Check with your doctor if any new health problems or symptoms occur while you are taking stavudine .
Stavudine is available only with your doctor"s prescription, in the following dosage form:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For stavudine, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to stavudine. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Breast-feeding—It is not known whether stavudine passes into the breast milk. However, if your baby does not already have the AIDS virus, there is a chance that you could pass it to your baby by breast-feeding. Talk to your doctor first if you are thinking about breast-feeding your baby.
Children—This medicine has been tested in children from birth through adolescence and, in effective doses, has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults. Studies on the extended-release capsule form of this medicine have been done only in adult patients, and there is not specific information comparing use of extended-release stavudine capsules in children with use in other age groups.
Older adults—Stavudine has not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it is not known whether it causes different side effects or problems in the elderly than it does in younger adults. Elderly patients should be closely monitored for signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking stavudine, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of stavudine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
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.
Keep taking stavudine for the full time of treatment , even if you begin to feel better.
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, check with your health care professional.
Only take medicine that your doctor has prescribed specifically for you. Do not share your medicine with others.
Dosing—The dose of stavudine 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 stavudine. Your dose may be different if you have kidney disease. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so:
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—To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits .
Do not take any other medicines without checking with your doctor first . To do so may increase the chance of side effects from stavudine.
HIV may be acquired from or spread to other people through infected body fluids, including blood, vaginal fluid, or semen. If you are infected, it is best to avoid any sexual activity involving an exchange of body fluids with other people. If you do have sex, always wear (or have your partner wear) a condom (“rubber”) . Only use condoms made of latex, and use them every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex . The use of a spermicide (such as nonoxynol-9) may also help prevent transmission of HIV if it is not irritating to the vagina, rectum, or mouth. Spermicides have been shown to kill HIV in lab tests. Do not use oil-based jelly, cold cream, baby oil, or shortening as a lubricant—these products can cause the condom to break. Lubricants without oil, such as K-Y Jelly , are recommended. Women may wish to carry their own condoms. Birth control pills and diaphragms will help protect against pregnancy, but they will not prevent someone from giving or getting the AIDS virus. If you inject drugs , get help to stop. Do not share needles or equipment with anyone . In some cities, more than half of the drug users are infected, and sharing even 1 needle or syringe can spread the virus. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Tingling, burning, numbness, or pain in the hands or feet
Cough; difficulty swallowing; dizziness; fast heartbeat; hives; itching; joint pain; muscle pain; ; puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips or tongue; shortness of breath; skin rash; tightness in chest; unusual tiredness or weakness; wheezing
Nausea and vomiting; stomach pain (severe)
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Chills with fever; loss of appetite; weight loss
Diarrhea; difficulty in sleeping; headache; lack of strength or energy; stomach pain (mild)
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
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Typical mistypes for Stavudine
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