What is Stavir (Zerit)?
Stavir 40mg is an antiviral drug used concomitantly with other antiviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infections. It contains 40mg of stavudine, a type of nucleoside analog reverse-transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) that inhibits the replication of HIV to control the viral load in the bloodstream.
Your dosage may vary according to your body weight.
- Patients < 60kg: Take 40mg of stavudine (1 capsule) every 12 hours.
- Patients ≥ 60kg: Take 30mg of stavudine every 12 hours.
The recommended dosage should be halved if you experience any symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, such as tingling, numbness, or pain in the limbs. If your symptoms of peripheral neuropathy improve, continue with half-dose therapy. Stavir should be permanently discontinued if no improvements in peripheral neuropathy are observed. This medication can be taken with or without food. Please note that if you miss a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it is already time for your next dose. Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.
If you are hypersensitive to stavudine, do not take Stavir.
Stavir Side Effects
Side effects associated with stavudine intake include:
- Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands and feet;
- Loss of appetite;
- And diarrhea.
More severe side effects include:
- Fast or irregular heartbeat;
- Chest pain;
- Blood in the urine;
- And severe abdominal pain.
Stavir may cause or exacerbate serious health complications.
- Lactic acidosis: This serious medical condition occurs when there is an excessive accumulation of lactic acid in the blood, resulting in abnormally low blood pH.
- Neurological disorder: Motor weakness was experienced by a group of patients who were taking stavudine. Cases of peripheral neuropathy (damage to the peripheral nerves in the limbs) have also been reported.
- Fat redistribution: You may experience the redistribution of body fat in the forms of breast enlargement, central obesity, buffalo hump, Cushingoid appearance, facial wasting, or peripheral wasting.
If you have liver or kidney dysfunction, you must be monitored regularly by a doctor while taking this drug.
Zidovudine, another drug in the NRTI class of antiretroviral medications, can inhibit the effect of Stavir.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Stavudine is classified under Category C of the FDA’s Pregnancy Risk Categories. As such, it must only be taken by pregnant women if its potential benefits justify any potential risks to the unborn child. Cases of fatal lactic acidosis have been reported in pregnant women taking both stavudine and didanosine in combination with other antiretroviral agents. It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding patients to take this medication.
Patients who overdose on stavudine from 12 to 24 times the recommended daily dosage did not show any signs of acute toxicity. Some health complications may occur with prolonged overdose, such as peripheral neuropathy and hepatic toxicity. To avoid overdose, follow your doctor’s dosing instructions carefully.
Alternative Brand Names
In the US and Canada, this medication is marketed under the brand name Zerit.
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