This is a medication used to treat HIV infections. It’s generally used along with other HIV medications to treat the disease. It doesn’t cure HIV, and it can’t prevent an infection of HIV. It’s often used to help prevent AIDS from developing in HIV patients. This medication stops the virus from reproducing. It can slow down the immune system’s destruction due to the virus. This can help to delay the complications that often come with HIV and AIDS. It is not able to keep other people from getting HIV from a patient. When patients take didanosine, they may still have the issues that HIV or AIDS causes.

Didanosine belongs to a class of drugs called NRTIs, or nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. When patients take this medication, it decreases the levels of HIV that are in the blood. It can help to decrease the risk of developing AIDS as well as cancer and other serious infections. This medication comes as a delayed-release capsule and an oral solution.

Didanosine Precautions and Warnings

This medication can cause severe swelling of the pancreas, also known as pancreatitis. This can be life-threatening in some cases. If you have any history of drinking a lot or you currently drink a large amount of alcohol, let your doctor know before you start this medication. If you have any fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach swelling, or pain, it could be a sign of this condition, so let your doctor know immediately.

This medication can also cause lactic acid to build up in the blood, and this can also be life-threatening in some cases. You have a higher risk of this happening if you’re female, are overweight, or if you’ve been on HIV medications for a long time. If you’ve ever had liver disease, make sure your doctor knows about it. While you take this medication, be sure to keep up with all of your doctor visits and lab appointments. You’ll need to be monitored while on this medication and will need regular lab testing. This medication can cause liver enlargement and liver toxicity. This is also more likely if you’re female, obese, or have been on these medications for a long time.

As you take this medication, it will allow your immune system to get stronger. This can cause the immune system to fight infections that are already there but are hidden, such as tuberculosis or pneumonia. It can also cause you to have a hidden autoimmune disorder flare-up. This may be a disease like Graves’ disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, or polymyositis. If you notice any health changes, be sure to let your doctor know right away.

Your body may store fat differently when you take this medication. It can cause you to lose fat in your face, arms, or legs. You may also have vision problems while taking it. Tell your doctor if you see strange colors or your vision is blurry. It’s essential to avoid drinking alcohol while you take Didanosine.

Didanosine Side Effects

You could also develop non-cirrhotic portal hypertension from this mediation. This can cause red pinpoint spots on the skin, bleeding gums, stomach pain, tarry and black stools, blood in stools or urine, and unusual bruising or bleeding. If you have these effects, tell your doctor right away. Also, tell your doctor if you get tingling, burning, or numbness in your arms, feet, hands, or legs. This may mean that you’ve developed peripheral neuropathy.

If you have an allergic reaction to this medication, it can cause an itchy rash or hives, trouble breathing, swelling of the lips, inside the mouth, or in the face, and vomiting. You may need emergency medical attention if you have signs of an allergic reaction. Even if the response is mild, tell your doctor about it.

If this medication causes you to develop pancreatitis, many side effects will come with it. These include:

  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Stomach, abdomen, or side pain
  • Dark urine
  • Chills
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Cramping or abdominal discomfort
  • Light-colored stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dark urine
  • Muscle cramps
  • Decreased appetite

Didanosine Drug Interactions

If you take the medication Stavudine, you will likely not be able to take didanosine. Make sure your doctor knows everything you take, even if it’s a health supplement or an over-the-counter medication. It’s also important not to take this medication if you’re taking ribavirin or allopurinol.

It would be best if you didn’t take certain antacids while taking didanosine, especially those that use magnesium or aluminum, such as Mylanta and Maalox. If you take antifungals like Sporanox or certain antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, these can interact badly with this medication. Your doctor must know if you take gatifloxacin, pentamidine, moxifloxacin (such as Vigamox), trimethoprim, tetracycline, docetaxel, hydroxyurea, dapsone, ranitidine, Septra, vincristine, or any others. All of these can interact poorly with didanosine, but many others can as well. Your doctor needs to know everything you take, even if it’s over the counter.  If you take something that may interact with didanosine, you may need your dosage changed or to be changed to a different medication.

Didanosine Strengths and Dosages

This medication is available from the brand name Videx or in the generic didanosine. The medication can come in 100 mg tablets and extended-release capsules in 125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, and 400 mg. It’s also available as a powder made into a solution to drink orally. This comes in 10 mg/mL.

Tablets:100 mg
Extended-release tablets:125 mg, 200 mg, 250 mg, 400 mg
Oral suspension:10 mg/mL

The dose a patient receives can depend on many factors, such as how well the medication works and the patient’s weight. Generally, the drug is prescribed between 150 mg to 400 mg once a day. Be sure to take it exactly as your doctor prescribes it.

FAQs of Didanosine

Can I drink alcohol while on didanosine?

No, it’s generally recommended that people not drink while taking didanosine. Drinking alcohol can put too much strain on the liver, and this can lead to liver damage when you take this medication.

Can you breastfeed while taking didanosine?

No, it’s important not to breastfeed while taking it. If you have HIV, that is also a reason not to breastfeed.

Do you need to eat food when you take didanosine?

No, this medication should be taken on an empty stomach. Take it at least two hours after you’ve eaten, and wait 30 minutes after you take it to eat or drink milk.

Can didanosine cause gastrointestinal issues?

Yes, it can lead to nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, and stomach pain. If these occur, tell your doctor immediately, as they may be signs that you’re having a health problem caused by the medication.

What do I do if I forget a dose?

If it hasn’t been long since you have taken the missed dose, you can generally take it as soon as you remember; however, if it’s close to the time you would take the next dose, skip the one you missed.

Can you overdose on didanosine?

Yes, it’s possible to overdose if you take too many doses in too short a time. Never take more than you are prescribed to take. It could cause severe damage to your health.

Is didanosine a brand name or a generic?

This is the generic name for this medication.

What is the cost of Didanosine in America?

The exact pricing depends on where you get it filled, the strength of the medication, how many you’re getting, and whether you have health insurance or a coupon card to help with the cost. A supply of 30 tablets at the 200 mg strength generally costs around $138. A month of the 400 mg strength typically costs about $266.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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