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Stavudine

Stavudine

Where is Stavudine used?

Stavudine is a prescription used for the treatment of HIV infection. This is used with other HIV medications to help control the infection. This helps to lessen the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This also improves your quality of life and lowers your chance of getting HIV complications. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. Stavudine is in the class of drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI).

How does Stavudine work?

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by infection with HIV. This virus attacks cells of the immune system. It is mainly the white blood cells known as CD4 T-helper lymphocytes. These cells usually work to stimulate other cells in the immune system to fight infection. Since HIV kills CD4 T-helper cells, over time the body becomes less able to fight the virus or subsequent infections. Once the virus is inside the CD4 T-cell, it increases. A portion of the development of viral growth includes the conversion of the virus’s genetic material into DNA. This is attained by a compound vital to the virus called reverse transcriptase. Reverse transcriptase is a compound known as an enzyme. 

Stavudine blocks the action of the reverse transcriptase. In that way, it inhibits the transformation of viral RNA into DNA. This ends the virus from growing. 

There is no cure for HIV, but Stavudine is one of several medications that lower the amount of virus in the body. This helps the immune system to recover. Therefore, it slows down or stops the progression of the disease from HIV to AIDS.

How is Stavudine taken?

Stavudine is to be taken by mouth with a full glass of water. It is usually taken every 12 hours. You may take each dose with or without food. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to the medication. You must take this medication exactly as it is prescribed.

Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule if it’s almost time for your next intake. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.

What are the precautions in taking Stavudine?

  • Stavudine should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other drugs may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Let your doctor know if you plan to become pregnant or breastfeed. 
  • Inform your doctor if you have any allergies. This product may contain an ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. If there are any signs of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. 
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications including vitamins, herbal products, or food supplements. 
  • If there are any signs of an overdose, call for medical help right away. 
  • This medication should not be used in people over 65 years of age, with decreased kidney or liver function, or those with an enlarged liver.