What is Zerit (stavudine)?
Zerit (stavudine) is a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). This product helps to treat HIV-1 infection in combination with other antiretroviral drugs. Zerit functions by binding to HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and acting as a chain terminator during viral replication.
Dosing & Administration
Zerit is indicated for the treatment of HIV infection in adults. It is also indicated to treat HIV infection in children of all ages, including neonates. This product is part of a combination drug regimen. Zerit comes in oral capsules and an oral powder for reconstitution as a liquid suspension. It may be taken with or without food. Dosage instructions are available in the package insert.
Those patients who have clinically significant hypersensitivity to stavudine or to any of the components of this product should not use this product. Zerit should not be administered with didanosine due to the occurrence of fatal and nonfatal pancreatitis.
Zerit Side Effects
The common side effects reported with this product include:
A full listing of potential adverse effects can be found in the package insert.
This product should not continue for patients with hepatic toxicity. Also, treatment should stop if any neurologic symptoms including motor weakness occurs. If localized loss of body fat occurs for patients, alternate antiretroviral therapy should be considered. Symptoms should be monitored for patients who present with immune reconstitution syndrome.
Several drug-drug interactions exist for Zerit, especially with didanosine and hydroxyurea. A complete list of drug interactions is provided in the package insert.
Pregnancy & Lactation
There have been reports of fatal lactic acidosis in pregnant patients who received both didanosine and stavudine with other agents. A pregnancy exposure registry exists for the monitoring of pregnancy outcomes in individuals exposed to Zerit while pregnant. Health information about the patient and the baby are collected for the registry.
Due to the potential for HIV-1 transmission to HIV negative infants and due to HIV positive infants developing viral resistance, breastfeeding is not recommended. There is limited data that shows stavudine being present in human milk. Data on the effects of stavudine on the breastfed infant are not available. As well, there is no information about the effects of this product on milk production.
No acute toxicity has been shown when adults were treated with 12 to 24 times the recommended daily dosage. Stavudine can be removed by hemodialysis. However, elimination via peritoneal dialysis is not known.
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