ZERIT (stavudine) is used for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection in combination with other antiretroviral drugs. ZERIT is a HIV-1 nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). This product works by binding to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and functions as a chain terminator during viral replication.
Dosing & Administration
ZERIT treats HIV infection in adults and children of all ages, including neonates, as part of a combination drug regimen. This product comes in oral capsules. It is also supplied as oral powder for reconstitution as a liquid suspension. It may be taken with or without food. Dosage considerations and instructions can be found in the package insert.
If a patient has a clinically significant hypersensitivity to stavudine or to any other ingredients of ZERIT, this product should not be used. The use of ZERIT with didanosine has been shown to result in fatal and nonfatal pancreatitis.
Headache, diarrhea, neuropathy, rash, nausea, and vomiting have been the most common side effects reported with ZERIT. The package insert has a complete list of potential adverse effects.
When hepatic toxicity occurs, treatment should be stopped. As well, treatment should end if neurologic symptoms including motor weakness occur. Different options of antiretroviral treatment should be considered for patients who present localized loss of body fat. Symptoms should be checked for patients who develop immune reconstitution syndrome.
Didanosine and hydroxyurea are known to have drug-drug interactions with ZERIT. A number of other drugs have interactions with ZERIT as well. A full list of drug interactions is provided in the package insert.
Pregnancy & Lactation
Pregnant patients who received both didanosine and stavudine with other agents have had fatal lactic acidosis. A pregnancy exposure registry is in place to monitor pregnancy outcomes in those exposed to ZERIT during pregnancy. The registry collects health information about the baby and the patient.
There is no information existing on the effects of stavudine on the breastfed infant, or the effects on milk production. The presence of this product in human milk has been shown in limited data. There is a possibility of HIV-1 transmission to HIV negative infants and HIV positive infants developing viral resistance. As a result, breastfeeding is not advisable.
When treated with 12 to 24 times the recommended daily dosage, adults have not shown acute toxicity. There have not been any studies on the elimination of this product by peritoneal dialysis. However, Stavudine can be removed by hemodialysis.
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