Important Info on Abacavir
Drug Interactions With AbacavirAbacavir can interact with a number of other medications (see Drug Interactions With Abacavir).
What If I Overdose on This Medicine?It is not known exactly what to expect from an overdose on abacavir. If you happen to overdose on abacavir, seek immediate medical attention.
(Click Ziagen Overdose for more information.)
Storage MethodsAbacavir should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep abacavir tablets and the oral solution in an airtight container.
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children.
What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose?It is very important that you do not miss abacavir doses. If you do not take your abacavir as scheduled, take the missed dose as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are having trouble remembering to take your HIV medications.
How Does Abacavir Work?Abacavir belongs to a group of HIV medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). These medicines work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. Like other viruses, HIV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. However, HIV is a little different than other viruses because it must first convert its genetic material from RNA to DNA. It is the DNA genes that allow HIV to multiply.
HIV converts its genetic material by using a special protein called the reverse transcriptase enzyme. To create DNA, this enzyme uses several different molecular building blocks.
Abacavir works by tricking reverse transcriptase into thinking it is one of these molecular building blocks. However, it is just different enough that when used to create DNA, abacavir actually stops the DNA from being made. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
Abacavir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. Although abacavir can help stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body, it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.