STD Channel
Topics & Medications
Related Channels

Side Effects of Zalcitabine

During extensive clinical trials studying the side effects of zalcitabine, unusual sensations (like numbness, burning, or tingling) were reported the most often. Other common side effects included nausea, fatigue, and headaches. Some side effects of zalcitabine should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider, including unusual bruising or bleeding, seizures, and frequent infections.

Side Effects of Zalcitabine: An Introduction

(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.)


As with any medicine, side effects are possible with zalcitabine (Hivid®). 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 zalcitabine. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of zalcitabine side effects with you.)

Side Effects of Zalcitabine to Report

There are a number of side effects with zalcitabine that you should report to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:


    • A tender or swollen abdomen
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Fever
    • A rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
    • Rapid breathing


  • 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


  • Seizures
  • Painless swelling in the neck, underarm, or groin, which may be a sign of a certain cancer known as lymphoma
  • Very severe mouth sores
  • Ulcers of the esophagus
  • Rapid weight gain, coughing, difficulty breathing, and water retention, which may be signs of congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Depression
  • Anemia
  • Frequent infections, which may be a sign of low neutrophils (a certain type of white blood cell) in the blood
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding, which may be a sign of low platelets in the blood
  • Signs of liver damage, such as yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice) or upper right abdominal pain
  • Changes in the distribution of fat on your body (such as a "buffalo hump")
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, including an unexplained rash, hives, itching, unexplained swelling, wheezing, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Zalcitabine Drug Information

Referring Pages:
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2019 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.