More Info on Ziagen Indications

How Does Ziagen Work?

Ziagen belongs to a group of HIV medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). These medicines work by blocking a process that the HIV virus needs in order to multiply.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. Like other viruses, HIV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. However, HIV is a little different than other viruses because it must first convert its genetic material from RNA to DNA. It is the DNA genes that allow HIV to multiply.
HIV converts its genetic material by using a special protein called the reverse transcriptase enzyme. To create DNA, this enzyme uses several different molecular building blocks.
Ziagen works by tricking reverse transcriptase into thinking it is one of these molecular building blocks. However, it is just different enough that when used to create DNA, Ziagen actually stops the DNA from being made. Without DNA, HIV cannot multiply.
Ziagen is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. Although it can help stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body, it does not help cells that have already been infected with the virus.

Ziagen Use in Children

Ziagen is approved for use in children as young as three months old. For most children, the oral solution (liquid) form of Ziagen works best, as the tablets may be difficult to swallow and contain too much Ziagen for many children. Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using Ziagen in children.

Off-Label Ziagen Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Ziagen for treating something other than HIV and AIDS. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, Ziagen is used off-label to prevent HIV infection in people exposed to the HIV virus (such as a healthcare worker who comes in contact with a contaminated needle). This is called postexposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Ziagen Drug Information

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