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Abacavir

Abacavir film-coated tablet is used in combination with other antiviral agents for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus ( HIV ) infections , the causative agent of AIDS . The active substance can be used to treat adults, adolescents and children.

Main Uses

Infections with the AIDS virus HIV in adults, adolescents and children – in combination with other virus-inhibiting agents

Dosage

The drug should only be used by a doctor who has experience in the treatment of HIV infection. The film-coated tablets can be taken independently of the meals.

If not absolutely necessary, the film-coated tablets should be left undecomposed.

Adults, adolescents and children (weighing at least 25 kilograms) receive 600 milligrams of abacavir per day as the recommended dose . This can be taken either as one tablet twice a day or two tablets once a day.

Children weighing between 20 and 25 kilograms receive either half a tablet in the morning and one tablet in the evening
or one and a half tablets once a day.

Children weighing between 14 and 20 kilograms receive either half a tablet each morning and evening or one tablet once a day. For children with even lower body weight or infants under three months no dosage can be recommended due to a lack of general experience.

Side Effects

Common side effects:
refusal to eat, headache , nausea and vomiting , diarrhea , rash, fever , listlessness, fatigue

Rare side effects:
pancreatitis

Very rare side effects:
Severe skin reactions ( erythema multiforme , Stevens-Johnson syndrome , toxic epidermal necrolysis )

Special features:
Many reported adverse reactions have not been established if they are related to the use of abacavir or any other medicines used to treat HIV infection, or if they are a consequence of the underlying condition. Many of the listed side effects (nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, listlessness, rash) are common in patients with hypersensitivity to abacavir. Treatment with the drug must be stopped immediately if a hypersensitivity reaction is suspected.

Combination therapy has been associated with redistribution of body fat in HIV patients.

Especially in the case of AIDS progression and long-term use of abacavir combination therapy, bone material may be broken down. Therefore, if a joint complaint and pain, joint stiffness or difficulty in movement occurs, consult a doctor.

Indigestion (nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain), well-being, loss of appetite, weight loss, fast and / or deep breathing or muscle weakness can also be signs of acidosis ( lactic acidosis ). In such cases a doctor should be consulted.

Drug Interactions

Patients on addiction treatment with methadone and abacavir should pay attention to signs of withdrawal symptoms. These may be due to a methadone underdose, which occasionally requires re-methadone adjustment.

With caution, the doctor will use abacavir and ribavirin at the same time. In some studies with HIV patients who also had liver inflammation , treatment with interferon alfa-2a , interferon alfa-2b / ribavirin, was lower when treated with abacavir combination.

Contraindications

Before starting treatment with abacavir, the doctor will examine each HIV- infected person for the presence of a specific hereditary feature. This so-called HLA-B * 5701 allele represents a high risk of hypersensitivity to abacavir. Patients known to carry the HLA-B * 5701 allele should not use abacavir.

In addition, the product should not be used in the case of hypersensitivity to abacavir, end-stage renal disease or patients with severe hepatic impairment.

Only after careful consideration by the physician and under his control may abacavir be used in:

  • Patients with a particularly high virus concentration in the blood
  • impaired liver function, including chronic active liver inflammation , because it can worsen
  • Smokers, patients with high blood pressure and lipid metabolism disorders , because there is an increased risk of heart attack .

Pregnancy & Lactation

Animal experiments have shown damaging effects on developing offspring in rats, but not in rabbits. In addition, abacavir was carcinogenic in some animals. To what extent this also applies to humans is not known. It has been shown that abacavir and / or its metabolites in humans penetrate the cake. However, treating HIV infection during pregnancy reduces the risk of transmitting the disease to the newborn. In this respect, the doctor must weigh the benefits and risks against each other.

Abacavir and its metabolites pass into the milk of suckling rats, which is also the case in humans. There are no studies on the safety of abacavir when administered to infants less than three months old. Therefore, it is recommended that HIV-infected women never breast-feed their infants in order to prevent transmission of the disease.

What should be considered in children?

Even children over the age of three months can be treated with abacavir. The dose depends on the body weight.

Warnings

  • If joint pain and joint pain, joint stiffness or difficulty in movement occurs, seek medical attention.
  • If a hypersensitivity reaction is suspected, treatment with the drug must be stopped immediately.
  • If there is evidence of acidosis (acidosis), consult a doctor.
  • The drug should only be used by a doctor who has experience in the treatment of HIV infection.

Medicines can cause allergic reactions. Signs of this may include: redness, runny nose, itching, mucosal swelling, itching and redness of the eyes, constriction of the respiratory tract (asthma). In rare cases allergic shock with unconsciousness may occur.

If you notice signs of an allergic reaction, inform a doctor immediately.

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