Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection

Ziagen Alternatives

(abacavir)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection
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Compare Ziagen (abacavir) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Ziagen (abacavir) or used for similar purposes.

Ziagen
(abacavir)

Emtriva
(emtricitabine)

Epivir
(lamivudine)

Viread
(tenofovir)

Retrovir
(zidovudine, azt, or zdv)

Zerit
(stavudine)

Videx
(didanosine or ddl)

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. Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a first-line and commonly used drug that is taken in combination with other HIV medications to treat or prevent HIV.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. lamivudine is currently one of the most popular drugs within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Also treats Hepatitis B Virus. tenofovir can be a good choice to take within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class. It may not be the best choice though for people with kidney problems.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Also prevents mother-to-child sharing of HIV. AZT can be a good second-line choice to take within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class. AZT can have a number of serious side effects, but if you don't have prior blood, kidney, or liver problems, you should consider it.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.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class, Videx can be a difficult drug to take. Videx has numerous serious side effects. It is also difficult taking Videx twice a day on an empty stomach.
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Reviews & ratings
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Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Ziagen (abacavir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Emtriva (emtricitabine)?
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Have you used Epivir (lamivudine)?
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Have you used Viread (tenofovir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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

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Have you used Videx (didanosine or ddl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex

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

FDA side effect reports for Ziagen »
  • Diarrhea 23%
  • Nasal stuffiness/runniness (rhinitis) 18%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Rash 17%
  • Physical weakness and/or lack of energy 16%
  • Increased cough 14%
  • Headache 13%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Sleep difficulty 7%
More Emtriva side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Epivir »

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

FDA side effect reports for Viread »

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

FDA side effect reports for Retrovir »

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

FDA side effect reports for Zerit »

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

FDA side effect reports for Videx »
How it works
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
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.Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). It treats HIV by stopping the virus from replicating within cells in your immune system.lamivudine 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.tenofovir 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.AZT 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.Videx 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
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
  • Prior severe allergic reaction to abacavir
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
  • HIV
Detailed Ziagen (abacavir) risks & warnings »
  • Liver disease
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Hepatitis B Virus infection
  • HIV
Detailed Emtriva (emtricitabine) risks & warnings »
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
  • HIV
  • Exposure to other infections
Detailed Epivir (lamivudine) risks & warnings »
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney damage
  • Prior bone fractures
Detailed Viread (tenofovir) risks & warnings »
  • Advanced HIV
  • Anemia
  • Neutropenia
  • Longtime use of AZT
  • Women
Detailed Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv) 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 »
  • Kidney problems
  • Use of stavudine, another HIV drug
  • Women
  • Use of hydroxyurea, stavudine, and Videx together
Detailed Videx (didanosine or ddl) 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 haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

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 haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

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.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Interactions
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many different medications.
No interactions related info.
Food
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
No food related info.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be taken at the same time everyday, with or without food.
  • Taken with or without food once a day.
No food related info.No food related info.
  • Take AZT with or without food.
  • Take with or without food.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
  • 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.
  • The dose of Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be adjusted if you have poor kidney health. Your doctor will provide lab tests to ensure you are taking the appropriate dose. Be sure to attend your scheduled doctor and lab appointments in order to make sure that Emtriva (emtricitabine) is working well and safely for you.
  • Patients with kidney damage will need to be closely monitored by their doctors in order to provide an appropriate dose.
  • lamivudine 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 lamivudine. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • Severe worsening of Hepatitis B has been seen in patients who have stopped taking lamivudine. Liver function should be closely watched in people who have both HIV and HBV.
  • The dose of lamivudine needs to be lowered if you have kidney problems.
  • tenofovir 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 tenofovir. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • Severe worsening of Hepatitis B has been seen in patients who have stopped taking tenofovir. Liver function should be closely watched in people who have both HIV and HBV.
  • tenofovir is removed from the body by the kidney. Kidney (renal) damage, including cases of renal failure and Fanconi syndrome (injury to the tubes inside of the kidney), has been reported with the use of tenofovir. Your doctor must continually monitor the function of your kidneys while you are taking tenofovir.
  • Don't take other drugs that can hurt your kidneys while taking tenofovir without talking to your doctor. That sadly includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve.
  • The dose of tenofovir depends on how your kidneys work. It is really important to consistently monitor them with your doctor.
  • AZT 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 AZT. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • Poor kidney function will affect how much AZT you can take.
  • 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.
  • Videx 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 Videx. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • May cause serious side effects in your liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
Pain
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
  • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis), and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
No pain related info.No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
  • 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.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a first-line drug option used in combination with other HIV medications to treat HIV.
  • Taken with or without food once a day.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is available in many combination tablets if you are looking to lower the number of pills you need to take daily for HIV treatment.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is available as a capsule as well as liquid form.
  • lamivudine is available as a tablet and oral solution.
  • Can be taken once or twice a day.
  • One of the more popular drugs in its class.
  • lamivudine is contained in the following combination products: Combivir, Epzicom, and Trizivir.
  • Take tenofovir once a day, with or without food.
  • For people who can't swallow the tablet, take the powder instead.
  • tenofovir is used for HIV in kids 2 years and older, and chronic hepatitis B in kids 12 years and older.
  • AZT is provided as capsules, tablets, and syrup.
  • Used in kids and babies.
  • Take AZT with or without food.
  • AZT is included in the combination drugs Trizivir (AZT, Epivir, and Ziagen) and Combivir (AZT and Epivir), both of which are taken twice a day.
  • 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.
  • The oral solution can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
  • While Videx 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
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
  • 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.
  • Patients with kidney damage will need to be closely monitored by their doctors in order to provide an appropriate dose.
  • Cannot be used by itself to treat or prevent HIV infection.
  • lamivudine should not be used with any other drugs containing Emtriva (emtricitabine) since both are so similar to each other.
  • Use with caution in kids with a history of pancreatitis (pancreas infection).
  • Most common side effects are headache, nausea, tiredness, congestion, diarrhea, and cough.
  • The dose of lamivudine needs to be lowered if you have kidney problems.
  • The tenofovir powder can't be mixed in a liquid, so mix into soft food like applesauce and yogurt.
  • The dose of tenofovir depends on how your kidneys work. It is really important to consistently monitor them with your doctor.
  • AZT may cause serious blood, muscle, and liver problems.
  • Poor kidney function will affect how much AZT you can take.
  • Allergies to AZT are rare, but very serious.
  • Need to get regular blood tests.
  • 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.
  • Must take on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before, or 2 hours after eating.
  • Take twice a day.
  • The amount of Videx you will take is based on your body weight, kidney, and liver function.
  • 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
ZiagenEmtrivaEpivirVireadRetrovirZeritVidex
  • 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.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be taken at the same time everyday, with or without food.
  • For missed doses, take one if you remember within 12 hours of your regularly scheduled time. Don't take extra medicine or double up if you've missed a previous dose.
  • Keep your regularly scheduled doctor's and lab appointments. These help ensure your medication is working well and safely.
  • Immediately report any signs of liver problems (jaundice, dark urine, yellowing of eyes, etc.) or sensitivity reactions (rash, fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, etc.) to your prescriber.
  • The doses for lamivudine are different for HIV and Hepatitis B.
  • If being used for kids, the dose of lamivudine will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
  • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking lamivudine and report them to your doctor.
  • Don't take other drugs that can hurt your kidneys while taking tenofovir without talking to your doctor. That sadly includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve.
  • People with HIV should be tested for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) before starting tenofovir.
  • Similarly, patients with chronic hepatitis B, should be tested for HIV before starting tenofovir.
  • Decreases in bone mineral density can happen while taking tenofovir.
  • Work with your doctor to monitor your kidney function and bone mineral density regularly.
  • Don't take AZT with stavudine, another HIV drug.
  • 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 AZT and report them to your doctor.
  • Read the Medication Guide given to you at the pharmacy about AZT since it contains helpful information.
  • 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.
  • Talk with your doctor about all other medications you are taking since Videx 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 Videx and report them to your doctor.
  • Read the Medication Guide given to you at the pharmacy about Videx since it contains helpful information.
Learn more
More about ZiagenSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ziagen (abacavir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about EmtrivaSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Emtriva (emtricitabine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about EpivirSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Epivir (lamivudine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about VireadSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Viread (tenofovir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RetrovirSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZeritSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Zerit (stavudine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about VidexSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Videx (didanosine or ddl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it