Didanosine

Generic Name (active ingredient): Didanosine
Brand Name: Videx

Didanosine is antiviral medication which is active against HIV infections.

How does the medication work?
Didanosine is antiviral preparation which is active against HIV infection. Didanosine is synthetic analogue of nucleoside deoxyadenosine which suppresses the replication of HIV. Under the action of cellular enzymes didanosine is converted into its active metabolite dedesoxyadenosine-triphosphate (ddATP). Active form of didanosine embeds into viral DNA and blocks its replication.

When Didanosine is prescribed?

  • Treatment of HIV infections (in combination with other HIV medications)

What should I know before taking Didanosine?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Didanosine or to any other medicines such as:

  • Lamivudine, Zidovudine and other preparations

Do not take Didanosine if any of the below conditions apply to you:

  • Hypersensitivity to any of the medication ingredients
  • Children under 3 year of age
  • Gout
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Kidney stones
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver diseases (cirrhosis, hepatitis)

Before taking Didanosine, tell your health care provider about any other medicines you take or if you have any of the following disorders:

  • Liver diseases in anamnesis
  • Kidney diseases in anamnesis
  • Pancreatitis in anamnesis

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeed, you should take Didanosine only under a strict control of your doctor. Didanosine belongs to a pregnancy category B meaning that the safety profile of the medication was not studied in pregnant women. You should talk your doctor about risks and benefits of taking the medication during pregnancy.

How to take Didanosine:
Didanosine is available in the forms of capsules, chewable tablets, oral solution and oral suspension.
Dosage of Didanosine is prescribed individually by physician. The medication is taken by mouth once or two times daily. It is very important that you closely follow your doctor's instructions for taking didanosine. Missing doses can increase the chance of the virus developing a resistance.
Take the entire amount of Didanosine prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better before the end of the treatment. If you stop taking medication too early, symptoms may return.
If you missed the scheduled dose, take the medication as soon as you remember, but skip the dose if it is almost the time for the following dose. Do not take two doses at once.

What are the side effects of Didanosine?
The most common didanosine side effects include:

  • Symptoms of pancreas inflammation: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate
  • Symptoms of lactic acidosis: muscle pain, weakness, dizziness, weight loss, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, bradycardia, arrhythmia, feeling cold
  • Symptoms of liver damage: jaundice, abdominal pain
  • Vision changes
  • Changes in distribution of fats in the organism (buffalo hamp)
  • Allergic reactions

If you experience any side effect that last long or becomes bothersome, please inform your doctor as dose adjustment or treatment discontinuation may be required.

Which are Didanosine overdose symptoms?
If you overdose Didanosine, seek immediate medical attention. Overdose symptoms include: symptoms of pancreatitis, peripheral neuropathy, hyperuricemia, liver dysfunction.

Which other medicines may affect Didanosine?
Didanosine may interact with the following groups of drugs:

  • Antibiotics (fluoroquinolone antiobiotics, tetracyclines)
  • Antiviral drugs including other HIV preparations
  • Narcotics pain killers (methadone)
  • Antifungal medications
  • Alcohol
  • Antacids
  • Gout treatment (allopurinol)
  • Leprosy treatment (dapsone)

For a complete list of possible interactions ask your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking Didanosine, let your doctor know what other medicines, including OTC, you currently take.

How should I store Didanosine?
Disanoside should be stored at dry and protected from light place out of reach of children. Do not store the medication in the bathroom.

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