Abacavir or Ziagen is an anti retroviral drug used in conditions such as HIV infections and AIDS.
Abacavir or Ziagen is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. It inhibits the same viral enzyme that AZT does, and can be used in combination with AZT.
It is used as second line therapy after initial therapy with AZT. An increased survival rate is seen because with prolonged use of AZT, resistance develops.
Examples of drugs for HIV infections: nucleoside analogs - didanosine, lamivudine, stavudine, zalcitabine, zidovudine (AZT); protease inhibitors - indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir.
Abacavir or Ziagen is associated with a potential hypersensitivity reaction - fever, stomach and bowel symptoms, general malaise, and sometimes rash. Stopping Abacavir or Ziagen will solve the side effect, however if the individual takes Abacavir or Ziagen again the hypersensitivity can occur quicker and more severely.
People who have experienced a hypersensitivity reaction should not take Abacavir or Ziagen.
Abacavir or Ziagen is often used in combination regimes for the treatment of HIV infections.
Medical Letter 1998;40(1041):114
The relevant product monographs must be regarded as the appropriate sources of prescribing information.