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Molecule Description

Zidovudine is 'Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor' (NRTI) type of antiretroviral medicine. This medicine is used with other HIV medications to help control HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so that your immune system can work better.
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Uses of Zidovudine

  • Treating HIV infection when used along with other medications
  • It is also used along with some other medication to help prevent women from passing HIV to the baby (foetus) during pregnancy

Contraindications of Zidovudine

When should one not use Zidovudine

  • Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to Zidovudine
  • Your white blood cell count and red blood cell count is meager

Side effects of Zidovudine

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loose motions
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain

Precautions and Warnings of Zidovudine


Can I take Zidovudine during pregnancy?
If this medicine is used in HIV positive pregnant women, it prevents passing HIV to the unborn baby. Regular investigations are necessary to monitor the growth of an unborn baby.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Zidovudine while breastfeeding?
HIV infection can pass through breast milk to the baby. Also, this medicine passes in breast milk, therefore avoid breastfeeding when on this medicine. Consult your doctor for advice.


Can I drive if I have consumed Zidovudine?
Zidovudine can cause dizziness and decreased alertness, therefore avoid driving when you are on this medication.


Can I consume alcohol with Zidovudine?
Alcohol can have an ill effect on bones when on this medication, therefore, avoid drinking alcohol.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
You have liver disease, or your weight is more than average.

Mode of Action of Zidovudine

How Does It Work?

It works by blocking the multiplication of HIV by inhibiting specific mechanisms at the level of viral RNA.

Interactions of Zidovudine

Interactions with other medicines

  • Medicines which suppress bone marrow such as Ganciclovir, Dapsone, Trimethoprim
  • Medicines that may affect the kidneys (including NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen)
  • Lorazepam, Sulfamethoxazole/ Trimethoprim, Lamivudine, Rosuvastatin and Duloxetine

Interactions with food items

Continue your regular diet unless your doctor tells you to follow any particular diet.

Dietary Restrictions of Zidovudine

No information is available on dietary restrictions while you are taking this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further details.

Dosage of Zidovudine


Symptoms of overdose are extreme drowsiness, tiredness, headache and confusion. Consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Missed a Dose

It would be best if you took the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, but do not take extra medicine to make up for the skipped dose.
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Content Details


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What should be discussed with my healthcare provider before taking Zidovudine?

  • Tell your doctor if you have any of the medical conditions:
  • If you have any history of allergy to medicine, food
  • If you have bone marrow problems (e.g. low white blood cell or haemoglobin levels) or lactic acidosis
  • If you have a history of alcohol abuse or dependence, kidney problems, pancreatitis or Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection or other liver problems (e.g., cirrhosis)
  • If you are on dialysis, you are at risk for liver problems or you are very overweight

Q: Should Zidovudine be taken on an empty stomach?

A: Take Zidovudine with food as this increases the absorption of the medication into the body and enhances the efficiency of it.

Q: Are any lab tests required during this medication?

A: During treatment and for at least five to six months after stopping this medicine, regular blood tests are needed to monitor your liver function and blood cell count in your blood.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
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