Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection



Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection
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Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection.

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Our bottom line

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.

Price and discounts
Best available price for 60 (300mg) tablets of abacavir


  • 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.


  • 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.
How it works

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.

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Side effect rates for Ziagen (abacavir)

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These are side effects of Ziagen (abacavir) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.
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Risks and Warnings for Ziagen (abacavir)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to abacavir

    abacavir has been reported to cause hypersensitivity reactions (severe rash, trouble breathing) and angioedema (life-threatening condition with swelling with or without hives). Seek immediate medical attention.

    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

Common concerns from people taking Ziagen (abacavir)

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Kidneys and liver
  • This is not a great medication to take if you have liver problems.
  • 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.