What should I know about zidovudine before taking it?

You should be aware that zidovudine will neither cure HIV infection nor prevent it from being spread to others. HIV infection is usually treated with a combination of drugs. If you take zidovudine, you should not take other combination drugs that contain zidovudine. It is not yet known whether zidovudine could harm an unborn baby, but it may work to prevent the spread of HIV infection from mother to child, so a pregnant woman should weigh the risks and benefits of taking zidovudine. If you do decide to take zidovudine during pregnancy, your doctor can help you join the antiviral pregnancy registry. This will allow your pregnancy and delivery to be tracked, so that any effect of Viread on your baby can be evaluated. You should also know that zidovudine may cause lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the body). It also can cause serious liver problems. Both of these conditions could be life-threatening. Zidovudine may interact with a number of other drugs, so before starting zidovudine, be sure to inform your doctor about all medicines you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.