What are the side effects of zidovudine?

Zidovudine may cause relatively minor side effects that may include, among others, insomnia, strange dreams, digestive upsets, muscle or joint pain, headaches, fatigue, rash or changes in the distribution of body fat, particularly in the arms, leg, face, neck, breasts and torso. More serious side effects include: pancreatitis, which is signaled by abdominal pain and peripheral neuropathy, which is signaled by numbness and pain in the hands and feet. Other potentially serious side effects can include: easy bruising or bleeding, weakness, pallor, white patches or sores on the inside of your mouth or lips and flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills and body aches. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these side effects. In addition, zidovudine may cause lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood) which can be life-threatening. If you develop lactic acidosis symptoms, such as muscle pain or weakness, numbness or cold in the arms and legs, breathing difficulties, severe nausea with vomiting or a rapid or uneven heartbeat, seek immediate medical attention. Zidovudine may also cause severe, potentially life threatening liver damage. Symptoms of liver failure include: nausea, stomach pain, fever, appetite loss, darkened urine, clay-colored stools and jaundice. If you develop any of these side effects, talk to your doctor immediately. Allergic reaction is also possible with zidovudine. If you develop hives, have difficulty breathing or experience swelling in the face, lips, tongue or throat, seek emergency medical attention.

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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.