Group 1: fever
Group 2: rash
Group 3: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach area pain
Group 4: generally ill feeling, extreme tiredness, or achiness
Group 5: shortness of breath, cough, or sore throat
Your pharmacist will give you a Warning Card when you receive your medication. The Warning Card contains a list of the symptoms above. Carry the card with you.
Some people may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to abacavir based on their heredity or genetic make-up. Your doctor may order a lab test to determine if you are more likely to have an allergic reaction to abacavir.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to abacavir or any other medications that contain abacavir. Do not take this medication if you have had a previous allergic reaction to abacavir or any other medication containing abacavir.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking abacavir because you had an allergic reaction, never take abacavir or a medication containing abacavir again. If you stop taking abacavir for any other reason, including missing several doses in a row or running out of medication, do not start taking it again without first talking to your doctor. You will need to be around people who can provide or call for emergency medical care, if needed, when you restart this medication.
Abacavir may cause serious liver damage and a condition called lactic acidosis (build up of acid in the blood) that may be life-threatening. Tell your doctor if you drink large amounts of alcohol and if you have or have ever had liver disease, including hepatitis. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: shortness of breath; fast breathing; changes in heartbeat; nausea; vomiting; loss of appetite; weight loss;diarrhea; pain, aching, swelling, or tenderness on your right side just below your ribs; unusual bleeding or bruising; yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark-colored urine; light-colored bowel movements; extreme tiredness; or cold or blue-colored hands and feet. Your doctor may tell you to stop taking abacavir.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to abacavir.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) and a Warning Card when you begin treatment with abacavir and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide and Warning Card.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking abacavir.
Abacavir is used along with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Abacavir is in a class of medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). It works by decreasing the amount of HIV in the blood. Although abacavir does not cure HIV, it may decrease your chance of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as serious infections or cancer. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other life-style changes may decrease the risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to other people.
Abacavir comes as a tablet and a solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken one or two times a day with or without food. Take abacavir at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take abacavir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Abacavir helps to control HIV infection, but does not cure it. Continue to take abacavir even if you feel well. Do not stop taking abacavir without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking abacavir or skip doses, your condition may become more difficult to treat or you could have an allergic reaction when restarting the medication (See Important Warning section). Do not run out of medication. When your supply of abacavir starts to run low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist.
Abacavir is also used in combination with other antiviral medications to prevent HIV infection in people who have been exposed to it. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you miss several doses of abacavir, call your doctor before starting to take this medication again. (See Important Warning section).
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
blisters or peeling skin
difficulty swallowing or breathing
Abacavir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Store liquid medication at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 10/15/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.