Compare Ziagen vs. Zerit

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Ziagen
(abacavir)

Zerit
(stavudine)

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. If you don't have an allergic reaction to the drug and have good liver function, then this drug is a decent option within within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class, stavudine can be a difficult drug to take. stavudine has numerous serious side effects and probably won't be your first choice.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Ziagen (abacavir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Zerit (stavudine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZiagenZerit

We haven’t found good data for Ziagen side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Ziagen »

We haven’t found good data for Zerit side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Zerit »
How it works
ZiagenZerit
abacavir stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.stavudine stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.
Type of medication
ZiagenZerit
Prescription only
Available as
ZiagenZerit
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
ZiagenZerit
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZiagenZerit
  • Prior severe allergic reaction to abacavir
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
  • HIV
Detailed Ziagen (abacavir) risks & warnings »
  • Use of hydroxyurea, didanosine, and stavudine together
  • HIV
  • Exposure to other infections
  • Start of a new HIV medication
  • Change in HIV therapy
Detailed Zerit (stavudine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
ZiagenZerit
No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many different medications.
Food
ZiagenZerit
No food related info.
  • Take with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
ZiagenZerit
  • abacavir can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use abacavir. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • This is not a great medication to take if you have liver problems.
  • stavudine can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use stavudine. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • May cause serious side effects in your liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
Upsides and benefits
ZiagenZerit
  • Can take one tablet twice a day, or two tablets once a day.
  • abacavir is in a number of other combination meds, so you may be able to find a single drug that has abacavir and other HIV medicines you are taking in a single product.
  • Can be used for kids 3 months and older.
  • stavudine is provided as both capsules and an oral solution.
  • Take with or without food.
  • Can be used by patients on dialysis.
  • While stavudine doesn’t cure HIV, it does reduce the number of viral copies being made in your blood, giving your healthy immune cells (CD4 cells) a better chance to do their job.
Downsides and risks
ZiagenZerit
  • This is not a great medication to take if you have liver problems.
  • Severe allergic reactions to abacavir are possible. Genetic testing may help identify if you are likely to react poorly to abacavir.
  • Once someone has an allergic reaction to abacavir, they can't take any other medications containing abacavir in the future.
  • Must take twice a day, every 12 hours.
  • The amount of stavudine you will take is based on your body weight, kidney, and liver function.
  • Interacts with many different medications.
  • May cause serious side effects in your liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
  • Can cause significant tingling in your hands or feet.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ZiagenZerit
  • To best deal with stomach upset and other side effects, either take abacavir twice a day for lower effects throughout the day, or once a day at night to sleep through the bulk of effects.
  • Work with your healthcare provider to get regular blood tests. The goal is to make sure the drug is working well and safely.
  • If being used for kids, the dose of abacavir will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
  • Set a timer on your phone to make sure you don't forget to take stavudine at the right time.
  • Talk with your doctor about all other medications you are taking since stavudine interacts with many other drugs.
  • Work with your doctor to get regular blood tests. The goal is to make sure the drug is working well and safely.
  • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking stavudine and report them to your doctor.
Learn more
More about ZiagenSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ziagen (abacavir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZeritSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zerit (stavudine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it