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Side Effects of Abacavir

The most common side effects of abacavir may include nausea, headaches, and fatigue. There are also a number of potentially serious side effects that should be reported to a healthcare provider right away, such as any signs of an allergic reaction, unusual bleeding or bruising, and anemia. In most cases, however, the side effects of abacavir are minor and easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.

Side Effects of Abacavir: An Introduction

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with abacavir sulfate (Ziagen®). However, not everyone who takes the medication will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. When side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with abacavir. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of abacavir side effects with you.)

Abacavir Side Effects to Report

There are a number of side effects with abacavir that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Anemia
  • Frequent infections, which may be a sign of low neutrophil levels in the blood (known medically as neutropenia)
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising, which may be a sign of low blood platelets (known as thrombocytopenia)
  • Symptoms of lactic acidosis (too much lactic acid in the blood), such as:
    • Feeling tired or weak
    • Muscle pain
    • Trouble breathing
    • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
    • Feeling cold
    • Cold or blue hands and feet
    • Dizziness or lightheadedness
    • A slow or irregular heartbeat
    • Persistent nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
    • Shortness of breath
    • An enlarged or tender liver
    • Weight loss

Abacavir Sulfate for HIV/AIDS

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