What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Ziagen Helps Treat the Following Conditions:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system and weakens the body’s natural ability to fight illness. Many people experience flu-like symptoms between two to four weeks after infection. Symptoms vary depending on each individual and stage of the disease.
Diagnosing HIV is done through a blood test. Following a diagnosis, fast and appropriate treatment can ensure excellent quality of life. Patients with untreated HIV can develop acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Ziagen Active Ingredient
Generic Ziagen Alternative: Ziagen
Ziagen contains the active ingredient abacavir, which belongs to a class of drugs known as non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs).
General Drug Information
What is Ziagen and What Is It Used For?
Ziagen is prescribed to HIV patients as part of combination treatment to control the spread of the infection. It enables the immune system to work more effectively and lowers the chance of developing HIV-related complications, such as infections and cancer.
Ziagen is not a cure for HIV. Patients must take precautions to ensure they do not spread the virus to others. This means taking Ziagen and other HIV medications exactly as prescribed, and using reliable protection methods when engaging in sexual activity. Patients should not share personal items – toothbrushes, razors, needles, or syringes – that may have been in contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
Usage and Application
Ziagen should be taken as prescribed by a patient’s doctor, and the dosage is dependent on the patient’s medical condition and response to treatment. Patients should inform their physician about all prescription drugs and supplements they are taking. In children, the dosage is also based on weight.
Most patients are prescribed one or two daily oral doses, with or without food. Patients using the liquid form of the medication should measure doses with a special device. Household spoons should not be used as they may not measure the correct dose.
Ziagen works best when taken at evenly spaced intervals as drug levels in the body need to be constant. To help patients remember, it is recommended that Ziagen is taken at the same time each day.
Patients should always refill this medication before it runs out. Stopping Ziagen usage – even for a short time – before restarting increases the chance of an allergic reaction. Patients should not stop treatment unless directed to do so by their doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed. Patients should not skip doses. Do not increase doses or take the medication more often than prescribed. This may make the infection more difficult to treat and can worsen side effects.
Before restarting Ziagen, patients should first consult their doctor or pharmacist. In addition, they should make sure they have easy access to medical care in the event of any negative side effects or allergic reactions.
Considerations Before Taking Ziagen
Patients need to discuss the possibility of allergic reactions to Ziagen before starting treatment.
It is vital to discuss the patient’s medical history, especially any liver problems like hepatitis B, C, or cirrhosis. Kidney problems and alcohol use should also be discussed.
Ziagen may increase the risk of heart attack. Patients should discuss the risks and benefits of Ziagen treatment, as well as ways to lower heart disease risk with their doctor. Patients should inform their doctor about any heart problems or other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.). Smoking is a heart disease risk factor that should also be addressed.
Patients undergoing surgery or certain dental procedures need to alert their doctor or dentist of all the prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and herbal products they are using.
Women who are pregnant – or planning on becoming pregnant – need to discuss the risks and benefits of Ziagen treatment with their doctor. Ziagen can lower the risk of passing HIV to an unborn baby.
Ziagen passes into breast milk. HIV-positive mothers are not advised to breastfeed as this can pass on the virus to their infants.
Delayed and Omitted Doses
Patients who miss a dose of Ziagen should take it as soon as they remember. If this happens near the time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. Patients should not double up on the dose to catch up.
Other Medications and Ziagen
Drug interactions may change the way Ziagen works and can increase the risk of side effects. Before starting treatment, patients need to discuss the full list of medications and supplements they are taking with their doctor.
Certain medications – like the weight-loss drug Alli – may negatively affect the way Ziagen works. This medication can also negatively interact with alcohol and the opioid methadone.
Ziagen must not be taken with other medications containing its active ingredient, abacavir.
Many patients are able to take Ziagen safely without serious side effects.
Some patients may experience loss of appetite or trouble sleeping. Patients should seek medical help if these problems persist or worsen.
Ziagen is prescribed to improve immune system function in order to fight HIV more effectively. As the immune system gets stronger, it can begin to fight infections patients already have, possibly causing the symptoms of these infections to come back. It is also possible that a patient’s immune system may become overactive. This could happen soon after treatment or many months later.
Patients should seek medical help if they experience unexplained weight loss, severe tiredness, joint pain, muscle weakness, and persistent, severe headaches. Additional symptoms may include numbness or tingling of the extremities, vision changes, and signs of infection such as chills, swollen lymph nodes, trouble breathing, coughing, and skin sores that don’t heal.
Immune system hyperfunction also manifests as an overactive thyroid. Symptoms may include irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, and an unusual growth in the neck (known as a goiter).
Patients should also monitor for signs of a certain kind of nerve condition, known as Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can manifest in trouble breathing, swallowing, eye movement, facial drooping, paralysis, and trouble speaking.
Patients should report serious side effects like depression and anxiety to their doctor.
Side effects may also include changes in body fat (manifesting as increased fat in the upper back and stomach), and decreased fat in the arms and legs. The cause and long-term effect of these changes are not yet known. Exercise may help reduce these side effects.
This is not a full list of all possible side effects.
How to Store Ziagen
Ziagen should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. The liquid form of the medication can also be stored in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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