Generic Name: Abacavir Brand Name(s): Abacavir.

Uses

What is abacavir used for?

Abacavir is commonly used for treating HIV infection.

How should I take abacavir?

Use this medicine (abacavir tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

Take this medicine at the same time of day.

Take with or without food.

Keep taking this medicine (abacavir tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.

It is important that you do not miss or skip a dose of this medicine during treatment.

How do I store abacavir?

Abacavir is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store abacavir in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of abacavir that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush abacavir down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using abacavir?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of abacavir or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have liver disease.
  • You are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this medicine (abacavir tablets) affects you.

This medicine may raise the chance of heart attack. Talk with the doctor.

Use care if you have risks for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight, high blood sugar or diabetes, cigarette smoking, man older than 40 years of age, other family members with early heart disease, woman after change of life). Talk with your doctor.

Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.

Read the warning card and carry it with you at all times. It tells the signs to watch for in case an allergy happens.

If this medicine is stopped because you have an allergy to it, do not restart it. It may not be safe to restart this medicine (abacavir tablets). Throw away any of this medicine that you have not taken. If you are not sure how to throw away unused drugs, check with your pharmacist.

If this medicine (abacavir tablets) is stopped for any other reason, do not restart it without talking to the doctor. It could be very risky to restart on your own.

Do not run out of this medicine.

Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.

This medicine is not a cure for HIV. Stay under the care of your doctor.

This medicine does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your doctor.

If giving to your child, the dose of this medicine may need to be changed as your child’s weight changes. Have your child’s weight checked often. Talk with the doctor before changing your child’s dose.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using abacavir during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking abacavir. Abacavir is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from abacavir?

Side effects may occur when using this drug, such as:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Signs of too much lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) like fast breathing, fast heartbeat, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, feeling very sleepy, shortness of breath, feeling very tired or weak, very bad dizziness, feeling cold, or muscle pain or cramps
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Low mood (depression)
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out
  • Mouth sores
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Swollen gland
  • A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal
  • Swelling
  • Change in body fat

This medicine may help the immune system work. If you have an infection that you did not know you had, it may show up when you take this medicine (abacavir tablets). Tell your doctor right away if you notice any signs of infection like fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath after you start this medicine.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with abacavir?

Abacavir may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with abacavir?

Abacavir may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with abacavir?

Abacavir may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using abacavir.

What is the dose of abacavir for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection

300 mg orally twice a day or 600 mg orally once a day

Use: In combination with other antiretroviral agents, for the treatment of HIV-1 infection

Usual Adult Dose for Nonoccupational Exposure

US CDC recommendations: 300 mg orally twice a day or 600 mg orally once a day

Duration of therapy: 28 days

Usual Adult Dose for Occupational Exposure

US Public Health Service working group recommendations: 300 mg orally twice a day or 600 mg orally once a day

Duration of therapy: 28 days, if tolerated

What is the dose of abacavir for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for HIV Infection

3 months or older:

Oral solution: 8 mg/kg orally twice a day or 16 mg/kg orally once a day

Maximum dose: 600 mg/day

Tablets:

  • 14 to less than 20 kg: 150 mg orally twice a day or 300 mg orally once a day
  • 20 to less than 25 kg: 150 mg orally in the morning and 300 mg in the evening, or 450 mg orally once a day
  • 25 kg or more: 300 mg orally twice a day or 600 mg orally once a day

How is abacavir available?

Abacavir is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of abacavir, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: September 11, 2017 | Last Modified: September 11, 2017

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