Abacavir – Introduction, Prescription, Intake, Side Effects, Doses, Precautions, Interactions

What is Abacavir?

Abacavir is an antiviral medicine which is traded under the name of Ziagen. It is used with other HIV drugs to control further HIV infection in the body. It is classified under NRTI.

Abacavir Structure

Abacavir does not treat the disease but only decreases the amount of HIV in your body.  Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) which is a life-threatening disease. Controlling the virus helps your immune system to work better. This drug is prescribed to anyone except children under 3 months of age. 

What are the common conditions in which Abacavir is prescribed?

Abacavir is prescribed along with other HIV medications to prevent further growth of HIV in your body. 

Symptoms of HIV infection infographic

It is an NRTI (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) category drug with antiviral properties.

How should I take Abacavir?

Abacavir is prescribed to patients based on the body weight. This is the situation only with children or teenager. Therefore, if your child happened to gain or lose weight, consult your doctor to reassess the dose. Elders are given Abacavir based on their medical condition and medical history.

How Should Take Abacavir

The medicine should be kept away from sunlight and heat. Store it in a cool and dry place away from moisture. You will be given instructions by your doctor on how much dose, you should take. Follow the prescription carefully. Do not skip doses. 


You will be given a warning card along with the medicine by your pharmacist. Read it carefully and analyse the symptoms accordingly.  You do not need to be wary about taking this medicine before or after meal unless specified by your doctor.

When you should not take Abacavir?

Patients with particular gene variation such as HLA-B*5701, liver problem, hepatitis B or heart problem should not take this medicine unless prescribed and consulted by your doctor thoroughly. 

When you should not take Abacavir?

People with high blood pressure, cholesterol or any disease that affects the heart directly should immediately inform their doctor about their medical condition. If you are taking methadone or planning to take it, consult your doctor. During pregnancy or with birth control pills, you should be sceptical about consuming the medicine. Be cautious of your newborn’s health if you are HIV positive. Do not breastfeed your baby irrespective of the baby’s report of HIV. 

When you should not take Abacavir?

In short, tell your doctor about your medical history and alcoholic consumption as well before consuming Abacavir.

What are the possible side effects of Abacavir?

Abacavir can be a potent life-threatening agent. It may possess some serious side effects. 

Consult your doctor immediately if you happen to experience of on the understated symptoms.

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache are some tier II side effects.
  • Fever and rashes are tier I side effect.

What are the possible side effects of Abacavir

  • Dark urine, change in colour of stool or jaundice can be some major side effects as well.

You should stop using Abacavir if you happen to be allergic to it. Consult your doctor immediately after any such symptoms.

What to do if I miss the dose?

Missing Abacavir dose can be fatal for you. It can yield major allergies and reactions in your body.  This can compel you to take immediate medical attention.


However, if you happen to miss a dose, do not take near the time of the second dose. Skip it and carry on with the other dose. Taking two doses in near time can also create a medical emergency.

Common Drug Interaction with Abacavir

Be cautious and tell your doctor about your medical history and current medicines you are on. Some drugs, when mixed with Abacavir can be fatal for your body.  If you have been on another HIV medicine, inform your doctor about it.

Common Drug Interaction with Abacavir

Methadone, Riociguat, Aspirin, Crestor, Paracetamol and many other such drugs can be proved to be harmful if interacted with Abacavir.

Bottom Line

Abacavir is a medicine used to control HIV infection in the body.  A patient should not skip any dose of this medicine or overdose it.  This is an inhibitor with antiviral properties. It is also used as a complimentary drug.  Take your Abacavir doses on time and keep on going to medical tests.

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