What is this medicine?
ZALCITABINE, ddC (zal SITE a been) is an antiretroviral drug. It is used with other medicines to treat HIV. This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It will not stop the spread of HIV to others.
NOTE: This drug is discontinued in the United States.
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take this medicine on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after food. Do not take with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. For your anti-HIV therapy to work as well as possible, take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the HIV virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 4 weeks old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?
Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
chest pain or palpitations
dizziness or fainting
fever or chills, sore throat
general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms
loss of appetite
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, unusual stomach upset or pain
pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
swelling of the legs or ankles
right upper belly pain
unusually weak or tired
yellowing of the eyes or skin
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
muscle and joint pain
sores in the mouth or throat
weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
What may interact with this medicine?
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
Where should I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
if you frequently drink alcohol containing drinks
tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
an unusual or allergic reaction to zalcitabine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
pregnant or trying to get pregnant
What should I watch for while using this medicine?
Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.
HIV is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of HIV.
Do not treat severe stomach pain, nausea or vomiting with over-the-counter medicines. Contact your doctor.