Severe, even fatal, liver and blood acid-base balance problems (lactic acidosis) have occurred while using this medication. Fatal lactic acidosis has also occurred during pregnancy when this medication was used in combination with didanosine and other drugs used to treat HIV. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal or stomach pain, rapid breathing, drowsiness, or muscle aches. When used in combination with certain medicines, pancreatitis (sometimes fatal) has occurred on rare occasions. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop severe stomach/abdominal pain.

This medication is used in combination with other medication(s) to treat HIV infection. Stavudine is not a cure for HIV and does not prevent the passing of HIV to others.

Take this medication by mouth exactly as prescribed, usually twice a day. For best effects, space the doses at even intervals throughout the day (and night if directed by your doctor). This will help ensure an even level of drug in the body at all times. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to help devise a dosing schedule best for you. Do not increase your dose or take this more often than directed. Your condition will not improve faster but the risk of side effects may be increased.

The most common side effect of this medication is peripheral neuropathy (nerve disorder). Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are numbness, tingling, burning or pain of the hands or feet. Notify your doctor if you develop any of these. Headache, diarrhea or nausea or loss of appetite may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor promptly. Notify your doctor if any of these serious side effects occur:
chills, fever, sore throat, itch, rash, muscle aches, trouble sleeping, unusual bleeding or bruising, stomach pain, yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine, rapid breathing. In the unlikely event you have an allergic reaction to this drug, seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, breathing trouble. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Tell your doctor your medical history, especially of:
kidney or liver diseases, pancreatitis, nerve disease, heart disease, major injury/surgery/infection, alcohol usage, any allergies. This medication should be used only if clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this medication appears in human breast milk. Avoid breast-feeding in order to protect the newborn from possible HIV transmission.

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take especially:
other drugs used to treat HIV disease (e.g., zidovudine, lamivudine). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately.

This medication does not cure HIV infection nor does it reduce the risk of transmission of HIV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination.

Try to take each dose at the scheduled time. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as remembered; do not take it if it is near the time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not “double-up” the dose to catch up.

Store this medication at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) away from heat and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children.

Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information on enrollment call Medic Alert(TM) at 1-800-854-1166. In Canada call 1-800-668-1507.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: June 22, 2011
Last revised: by Dave R. Roger, M.D.

Drugs & Medications

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.