What is this medication for?
Abacavir is used in combination with other medications to stop the growth of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is responsible for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Abacavir belongs to the class of medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Reverse transcriptase is a part of HIV required to infect cells and make more viruses. Abacavir prevents reverse transcriptase from working properly.
Abacavir does not cure AIDS and does not prevent it from being spread to others. It does slow further growth or reproduction of HIV when used in combination with other medications, and it seems to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help to delay the development of problems that are related to AIDS or HIV disease.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
Adults (18 to 65 years): The recommended dose is 300 mg twice a day, or 600 mg once a day, taken with or without food. For people with mild liver disease, the usual dose is 200 mg twice a day.
Children and adolescents (3 months to 16 years): The recommended dose is based on body weight as calculated by your doctor. The usual dose is 8 mg per kg body weight (up to 300 mg twice daily), taken with or without food.
Finish all this medication, even if you have started to feel better.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to abacavir or any ingredients of the medication
- have moderate or severe liver disease