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Zerit (stavudine, d4T)

Type of Drug: Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor

Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were the first type of drug available to treat HIV. They are also known as NRTIs, nucleoside analogues, or "nukes."

When the HIV virus enters a healthy cell, it attempts to make copies of itself. It does this by using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. NRTIs block that enzyme, so HIV cannot make new copies of itself.

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Approved adult dosing

one 40 mg capsule, two times a day

  • Morning

    Zerit 40

    Zerit 40 mg

  • Evening

    Zerit 40

    Zerit 40 mg

Under 133 pounds:

one 30 mg capsule, two times a day

  • Morning

    Zerit 30

    Zerit 30 mg

  • Evening

    Zerit 30

    Zerit 30 mg

Note: Generic formulations are available; these generic pills may have different shapes and colors than the ones shown above.

Notes on taking this medication

  • No food restrictions, can take with or without food
  • Persons with kidney problems may need to adjust the doses of Zerit
  • Do not take Zerit with AZT (Retrovir), Combivir, Trizivir, or Videx EC

Side effects

  • Pain or tingling in feet or hands (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Nausea; vomiting; abdominal pain; headache; rash
  • Pancreatitis
  • Changes in body fat distribution, especially fat loss; may be severe
  • Abnormalities in cholesterol levels
  • Rare but serious: increase of lactic acid in the blood

See accompanying chart: Tips for Common Side Effects

My doctor's instructions

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