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Stavudine (Zerit) Uses, Dosage and Side Effects


What is Stavudine (Zerit)?

The availability of antiretroviral drugs today opened doors for individuals who have been affected by the hostile impact of HIV to recover and live healthily. One of these very effective antiretroviral drugs is Stavudine. It is a form of medicine that helps the body fight against the virulence of the said infection. It decreases an individual’s chance of acquiring other health concerns induced by HIV. It can be purchased under the brand name Zerit.

This medicine is highly capable of stopping HIV’s capacity to further its infection within the body. Just like other medicines for treating the said illness, it is competent in controlling the virus and blocks its objective, which is to multiply and increase its population inside its host.

What is it used for?

When Stavudine is given right after the diagnosis, this drug immediately functions by reducing an individual’s risk of having more HIV-related diseases. Zerit is specifically designed to assist the body’s immunity in working better and halt the viruses’ contagious properties.

How does this drug work?

In treating one of the world’s life-threatening infections, medical experts can introduce distinct drug classifications. These medicinal categories involve different groups that are aimed at blocking HIV’s infectious functions. For Stavudine, this medicine is part of the family of nucleoside reverse transcriptase or NRTI. How do they function?

  • NRTIs blocks HIV’s capacity to multiply.
  • They are known to prevent other health concerns from developing.
  • They inhibit the viruses’ ability to replicate and cause more harm within the body.

Once administered, NRTIs, like Stavudine, work instantly in providing medical therapy that the body needs. To ensure that this medicine can work efficiently, its consumption must adhere to the prescription given by the healthcare professional.

Stavudine Dosage

The prescription plays a vital role in the treatment process of an infected individual. That is why it is necessary to follow the instructions provided by the healthcare professional. It also includes the dosage, which the patient must follow on a daily basis.

  • The dosage for adults is 1 tablet (30 mg or 40 mg) to be consumed every 12 hours.
  • The dosage for children is 1 tablet (0.5 mg to 1 mg per kg) to be consumed every 12 hours.

Note: The dosage mentioned above is dependent on the weight of the patients. You will get an accurate dosage once the healthcare professional has gathered everything needed for the treatment, especially your current weight.

How to take it?

Just like other drugs, Stavudine can be ingested with or without food. However, to ensure that you do not encounter stomach pain right after consuming this medicine, it is suggested to take Zerit with food. Moreover, since some children are not capable of instantly swallowing the tablet form of this medication, the oral solution is available.

Considering that some people forget their dose for the day, it is necessary to set the alarm to notify them it’s time for their dose. This way, people can always remember their dosage and have a smooth treatment journey.

Drug Interactions

In any form of treatment, a certain phenomenon known as drug interactions can happen. This kind of medical concern only happens when you are consuming other types of drugs other than Stavudine. To ensure that you do not experience this and continue with your drug treatment, discuss with your healthcare professional and be honest in telling him/her of other medicines you are currently taking.

Warnings and Precautions

Prior to obtaining a prescription involving Stavudine, speak with your healthcare professional first if you have a history of the following:

  • Kidney and liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Numbness of the hands and legs
  • Pancreatitis infection

Furthermore, if you are allergic to this medication and its ingredients, avoiding consuming it. Always note that any form of hypersensitivity is fatal.

Zerit Side Effects

Compared to other types of ARV drugs, this medicine is also associated with different adverse reactions. These reactions are categorized from the most common to the most severe ones. Consider the following:

These are the list of adverse reactions that are classified as the most severe effects. Oftentimes, the patients who experience them are taken or admitted to the hospital to receive immediate medical therapy.

  • Burning sensation in some parts of the body
  • Bleeding gums
  • Blurry vision
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Recurrent fever
  • Severe headache
  • Vomiting
  • Chest tightness
  • Jaundice

These are the types of adverse reactions that are considered common or mild after consuming Stavudine. These reactions can be managed at home.

  • Mild headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sleeping problem
  • Drowsiness
  • Belching
  • Stomach pain
  • Chills

When you are diagnosed with HIV, it is always a must to follow the instructions provided by the prescription or by your healthcare professional. Note that HIV can progress to a more serious infection, so make sure that you always take your daily dose of Stavudine.

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