Retrovir

(zidovudine)

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Works with other drugs to treat HIV infection or prevents transmission to your baby.

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Our bottom line

Retrovir (zidovudine) is not the first choice to treat HIV because of its side effects.

Quick facts about Retrovir
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status:
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (zidovudine)
Prices and discounts
Lowest price for 180 100mg capsules
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$98.88

Upsides

  • Retrovir (zidovudine) is safe and effective for children and infants.
  • Retrovir (zidovudine) is available in several single-pill combination tablets so you don't need to take as many pills.

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What to expect from Retrovir, on one page

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Downsides

  • Retrovir (zidovudine) can cause serious blood, muscle, and liver problems.
  • Many people experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and headache when taking Retrovir (zidovudine).
  • Taking Retrovir (zidovudine) can raise your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

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Sign up and get Pill Talk, the latest in health & medicine news from Iodine

Get our free fact sheet

What to expect from Retrovir, on one page

Download Fact Sheet
Prices and discounts
Lowest price for 180 100mg capsules
Determining your location...
$98.88
How it works

Retrovir (zidovudine) is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) that prevents HIV from replicating.

Quick facts about Retrovir
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status:
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (zidovudine)

Used for

  • HIV infection
  • Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission
  • HIV Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP)

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Liquid
Tried Retrovir? Write a review!

What to expect when you take Retrovir (zidovudine) for HIV treatment

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Side effect rates for Retrovir (zidovudine)

From 236 clinical trials of Retrovir when taken for hiv treatment
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Skin rashes
  • Enlarged liver
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal discharge or congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Pain in the ear

Risks and Warnings for Retrovir (zidovudine)

Skip risks section. Skip to common concerns section.
    • Higher risk if:
    • Advanced HIV
    • Anemia
    • Neutropenia

    Retrovir (zidovudine) can damage your bone marrow, which can lead to anemia and affect how your body fights off infections. Your doctor will draw blood tests regularly, and might have to change your dose if you start having problems.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect