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Zalcitabine is only approved for use in conjunction with other medications to treat HIV and AIDS. The medication is typically taken every eight hours (three times a day) and works by preventing the HIV virus from multiplying. The zalcitabine dosage will depend on several factors, such as other medical conditions you may have and other medications you are taking. Fatigue, nausea, and liver problems are potential side effects of zalcitabine.

What Is Zalcitabine?

(This medication is no longer available. This medication was not discontinued for safety reasons. The manufacturer of zalcitabine chose to stop making it because current HIV treatment guidelines recommended using newer medications, rather than zalcitabine.)


Zalcitabine (Hivid®) is a prescription medication used to treat AIDS and HIV. Zalcitabine is approved only for use with other medications for the treatment of HIV. It is not approved to be used by itself.
(Click What Is Zalcitabine Used For? for more information on what zalcitabine is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Side Effects of Zalcitabine

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with zalcitabine. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of zalcitabine include, but are not limited to:
  • Unusual sensations (like burning, tingling, or numbness) in the feet or hands
  • Liver problems
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting.
(Click Side Effects of Zalcitabine to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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