Retrovir Side Effects

Headache, nausea, and a general ill feeling are the most commonly reported Retrovir side effects. In most cases, side effects do not occur unless you take too much of the medicine. There are a number of potentially serious side effects of Retrovir that you should report to your healthcare provider immediately, including unusual bleeding or bruising, anemia, and frequent infections.

An Introduction to Retrovir Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Retrovir® (zidovudine); 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 are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Retrovir. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Retrovir side effects with you.)

Serious Retrovir Side Effects

Retrovir has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the side effects that occur in a group of people taking the drug are documented and are then compared to side effects that occur in another group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
In these studies, the most common Retrovir side effects included:
  • Headaches -- in up to 62.5 percent of people
  • A general ill feeling (malaise) -- up to 53.2 percent
  • Nausea -- up to 51.4 percent
  • Loss of appetite -- up to 20.1 percent
  • Vomiting -- up to 17.2 percent.
Other Retrovir side effects seen in clinical studies included:
  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • Joint pain
  • Chills
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle or bone pain
  • Nerve problems, such as unusual sensations (like burning or tingling).

Retrovir Therapy -- Drug Information

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