Videx Warnings and Precautions

Videx warnings and precautions include potential drug interactions, possible risks of liver damage, and the chance of developing nerve problems. Before taking Videx, talk to your healthcare provider about any health conditions you may have, such as kidney disease, liver disease, and any allergies. You should not take Videx if you are allergic to any ingredient used to make the medication.

Videx: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Videx® (didanosine) if you have:
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
  • Gout
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings for Videx

Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Videx include the following:
  • Videx can cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can be very dangerous. Let your healthcare provider know immediately if you have any signs of pancreatitis, such as:


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


  • Rarely, Videx can cause lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis. These conditions are caused by damage to the liver and can be very dangerous. You are at a higher risk for these conditions if you have liver disease.
  • Be sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if you notice any vision changes. It is probably a good idea to have regular eye examinations while taking Videx.
  • Videx can cause liver damage. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if you already have liver disease, as this may increase your risk of further liver damage.


  • There have been a few cases of portal hypertension associated with Videx. Some of these cases were severe enough to result in liver transplantation or even death. Portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the portal vein, the blood vessel that carries blood from the intestines and spleen to the liver) can be dangerous. Your healthcare provider should monitor you regularly for signs of this problem by using routine blood tests and checking for spleen enlargement. 


  • Videx can cause nerve problems (known as peripheral neuropathy). Often, these nerve problems cause unusual sensations, such as numbness, burning, or tingling.
  • Videx can change the distribution of fat on your body. You may gain fat in areas that are not typical for you, such as in the abdomen or at the back of the neck (a "buffalo hump"), and you may lose weight in other areas.
  • Videx can increase the level of uric acid in your blood, which may increase your risk of gout or kidney stones.
  • The kidneys help remove Videx from the body. If you have kidney disease, you may need a lower Videx dosage.
  • Videx is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. If you have HIV or AIDS, you should always use safer sex practices, regardless of whether you are taking medications.
  • As with all HIV medications, it is important that you take Videx exactly as prescribed. Missing doses may increase the chance of the virus becoming resistant to HIV medications.
  • Videx can interact with a few different medications (see Videx Drug Interactions for more information).


  • When you first start taking this medication and your immune system begins to recover, a group of problems known as immune reconstitution syndrome may occur. Your immune system may start aggressively reacting to any infections you may have and may cause extreme inflammation. There have even been cases of autoimmune disorders (such as Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) possibly caused by this problem. 


  • Videx is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Videx and Pregnancy).
  • It is not known if Videx passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Videx and Breastfeeding). It is important to understand that the HIV virus can be transmitted through breast milk and that breastfeeding is usually not recommended in women with HIV or AIDS.

Videx -- HIV Drug Information

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