HIV is one of the most dreaded viruses in the world. What the virus does is to attack the immune system of HIV patients and weaken their ability to fight against infections and diseases. Once the immune system of patients is destroyed then other diseases which the body can normally fight against will become more powerful. There are many ways one can contact this virus but the most common of them is by having unprotected sex with someone who is infected. Other ways one can contact the virus is through the use of an infected needle or when one comes in contact with the blood of an infected person.
The battle on how to treat HIV has been on since the inception of the virus but up till now, there is no cure for people living with the virus. However, this does not mean that people who are HIV-positive cannot live a normal and better life. This can only be possible, depending on the nature of the drugs they are using. The final stage of HIV infection is known as AIDS. At this stage, the body doesn’t have the capacity to fight against infections that are life threatening. However, when diagnosed early and effectively treated, many people living with HIV will not develop AIDS.
One powerful medication that has proven to be very active for treating HIV is Zidovudine (Retrovir). This anti retroviral drug is very effective and it is also combined with other drugs to treat the condition. Pregnant women living with HIV are allowed to use this medication, as the drug will help to reduce the possibility of the virus spreading or infecting their babies. Zidovudine (Brand name, Retrovir), belongs to the group of drugs that are classified as NRTIs (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors).
How does the Zidovudine (Retrovir) work?
Retrovir was approved by the FDA in the year 1987 for the treatment of HIV. The drug is available as a single dose or used in combination with other drugs according to the doctor’s prescription. Although Zidovudine (Retrovir) does not cure the disease, it works by decreasing the amount of the HIV virus one has in his or her blood. The drug helps people living with the virus to live a healthy and long life. It decreases their chances of developing AIDS or other illness that are HIV related such as cancer or serious infections. By using this drug and also practicing safe sex, one can decrease the chances of spreading the virus to other people.
How to use Zidovudine (Retrovir)
It is always advisable for people to use potent retroviral drugs like this according to their doctor’s instructions. Retrovir comes in a capsule, syrup as well tablet forms and are all taken by mouth. The drug is usually taken at least three times each day. In most cases, one may also be directed to take Retrovir up to 5 times per day. There is a direction on the prescription label for patients to follow. It is advisable to follow the directions and ask your pharmacist or doctor about any part you do not understand properly. It is not advisable to also take more or less of this drug than subscribed. In fact, even if you think it is necessary, it is better to discuss it with your doctor before taking the decision. Another thing is for patients to continue taking Retrovir even if they feel well. Do not stop using the drug without informing your doctor.
What to do if you missed a Retrovir dose
If you missed a dose, ensure that you take it as soon as you remember. On the other hand, if it is almost getting to the time for you to take the next dose, then it is better to skip the missed dose and continue with your normal schedule. Avoid taking a double dose because you want to make up for the missed drug. Taking overdose may lead to unwanted side effects.
Retrovir side effects
Retroviral are very active. In fact, all drugs can produce side effects but some go away on their own after some time. Retrovir may also cause side effects but in most cases, the side effects could be mild or may not occur in the HIV patient. However, if you feel uncomfortable taking this medication which is very rare, inform your doctor about it. The following are some of the side effects of Retrovir.
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loose stools or diarrhea