Didanosine (By mouth)

Introduction

Didanosine (dye-DAN-oh-seen)

Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Didanosine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but when used together with other drugs, it may slow the progress of the disease.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Videx EC, Videx Pediatric

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you or your child have had an allergic reaction to didanosine. You should not use this medicine if you or your child are also using allopurinol (Zyloprim®) or ribavirin (Copegus®, Rebetol®).

How to Use This Medicine

Delayed Release Capsule, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach. The oral liquid should be taken at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after you eat.
  • Swallow the delayed-release capsule whole. Do not crush, chew, break, or open it.
  • Shake the oral liquid bottle before using. Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Didanosine is taken together with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed at the right time each day.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the delayed-release capsules in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Store the oral liquid in the refrigerator. Throw away any unused liquid medicine after 30 days.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using antacids (such as Maalox®, Mylanta®, or Riopan®), medicine to treat an infection (such as ciprofloxacin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, tetracycline, Cipro®, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®), methadone (Dolophine®), delavirdine (Rescriptor®), ganciclovir (Cytovene®), hydroxyurea (Hydrea®), indinavir (Crixivan®), nelfinavir (Viracept®), stavudine (Zerit®), or tenofovir (Viread®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or pancreas problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of peripheral neuropathy (a nerve problem), or if you drink alcohol on a regular basis. Tell your doctor if you are on kidney dialysis.
  • You should not breast feed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you may give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
  • Pancreatitis may occur while you are using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child have sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.
  • Two rare but serious reactions to this medicine are lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood) and liver toxicity, which includes an enlarged liver. These are more common if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking anti-HIV medicines for a long time. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of these symptoms: abdominal or stomach discomfort or cramping; dark urine; decreased appetite; diarrhea; general feeling of discomfort; light-colored stools; muscle cramping or pain; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; trouble breathing; vomiting; or yellow eyes or skin.
  • This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles with anyone.
  • Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you or your child have abdominal or stomach pain; black, tarry stools; bleeding gums; blood in the urine or stools; pinpoint red spots on the skin; or unusual bleeding or bruising. These may be symptoms of a condition called non-cirrhotic portal hypertension.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you or your child are having burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
  • When you or your child start taking HIV medicines, your immune system may get stronger. If you have infections that are hidden in your body, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, you may notice new symptoms when your body tries to fight them. If this occurs, tell your doctor right away.
  • This medicine may cause you or your child to have excess body fat. Tell your doctor if you notice changes in your body shape, such as an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck, or around the chest and stomach area. You might also lose fat from the legs, arms, and face.
  • This medicine may cause changes in vision. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child start to see unusual colors or have blurred vision.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Extreme weakness, tiredness, or confusion.
  • Eye pain or changes in vision.
  • Fast, shallow breathing.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Rapid breathing or trouble with breathing.
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness.
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, or tenderness.
  • Unexplained fever, chills, or sore throat.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Diarrhea.
  • Gaining weight around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist.
  • Headache.
  • Skin rash or itching.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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