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Zerit

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Zerit (Stavudine) helps manage human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.


Drug Name

Zerit (Stavudine)

Drug Uses

This medicine is a nucleoside analogue antiviral used in combination with other medicines to manage human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

How Taken

The recommended dose for adults is 40 mg twice daily for those weighing 60 kg or more and 30 mg twice daily if less than 60 kg. Children weighing less than 30 kg should receive 1 mg/kg. Children weighing 30 kg or more should be treated like adults. Zerit may be administered without regard to meals.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Zerit is an oral medication that is used for the treatment of infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is in a class of drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors which also includes zalcitabine (Hivid), zidovudine (Retrovir), didanosine (Videx), and lamivudine (Epivir). During infection with HIV, the HIV virus multiplies within the body's cells. The newly-formed viruses then are released from the cells and spread throughout the body where they infect other cells. In this manner, the infection continually spreads to new, uninfected cells that the body is continually producing, and HIV infection is perpetuated. When producing new viruses, the HIV virus must manufacture new DNA for each virus. Reverse transcriptase is the enzyme that the virus uses to form this new DNA. Specifically, zerit is converted within the body to its active form (stavudine triphosphate). This active form is similar to thymidine triphosphate, a chemical that is required by the HIV virus to make new DNA. The reverse transcriptase uses stavudine triphosphate instead of thymidine triphosphate for making DNA, and it is the stavudine triphosphate that interferes with the reverse transcriptase. Zerit does not kill existing HIV virus and it is not a cure for HIV.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.

Storage

Store capsules at room temperature, 15-30 degrees C (59-86 degrees F). The dry powder for oral solution should be kept at room temperature and away form moisture. Solutions should be refrigerated.