Zidovudine is used along with other drugs to treat HIV. This medication slows the spread of the disease through the body. Although it cannot protect patients against sexually transmitting this disease, it can sometimes protect unborn children from getting this disease from their mothers. This medication is taken three to five times a day.

Side Effects/Warnings

This medication can cause a decrease in white blood cells. This leads to more infections as well as to anemia and certain muscle disorders. Patients with advanced HIV and/or AIDS are more likely to suffer from anemia as a result of taking this medication.

Zidovudine can also cause lactic acidosis, a fatal build-up of lactic acid in the body because of liver problems. Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Jaundice
  • Brown urine
  • Black or tarry stools

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