ZIAGEN

abacavir (ABC)

Recommended as component of initial regimen for most people when used in combination with dolutegravir and lamivudine (as Triumeq)

NRTI drug

Nucleoside “Nuke”

Ziagen tablet

STANDARD DOSE

Two 300 mg tablets once daily (or one 300 mg tablet twice daily), without regard to food.

For adults and children at least 3 months of age and older. In children Ziagen is dosed based on body weight. See the package insert for weight-based dosing. Tablets may be crushed or split and added to a small amount of semi-solid food or liquid. Ziagen is also available as an oral solution (20 mg/mL) (strawberry-banana flavor) for children and adults who are not able to swallow the tablets. Must be taken in combination with another antiretroviral(s) which does not contain the medication in this drug.

Dose adjustment is not needed for people with kidney impairment. Dose adjustment is needed for people with mild liver impairment (200 mg twice daily). Ziagen should not be used in people with moderate or severe liver disease.

MANUFACTURER

ViiV Healthcare
viivhealthcare.com
(877) 844-8872

PHARMACY

Drug Mart Pharmacy
shopdrugmart.com
(800) 877-0337

GET STARTED – Request To Fill Your Medication

  •  See package insert for more complete information on potential side effects and interactions.

The length of this section is meant to be informative, not scary. The most common side effects with an incidence greater than 10% were nausea, headache, malaise (general ill feeling), fatigue, vomiting, and dreams/sleep disorders. In pediatric patients, the more common side effects were fever and/or chills, nausea and vomiting, skin rashes, and ear/nose/throat infections.

Approximately 8% of people who took abacavir in clinical trials (where screening for HLA-B*5701, a genetic marker associated with abacavir hypersensitivity, was not performed) experienced hypersensitivity reaction (HSR), an allergic-like reaction. To minimize the risk for HSR, a blood test for HLA-B*5701 should be done prior to starting an HIV regimen containing abacavir to identify patients at higher risk for this reaction. This test is covered by most insurance and also by LabCorp/ViiV (go to viivconnect.com). If the HLA-B*5701 test is positive, you are at an increased risk for HSR and you should not take abacavir. An allergy to it should be entered in your medical record. A negative HLA-B*5701 test does not mean you won’t have HSR, but the risk is very low (1% from clinical studies). Symptoms of HSR usually include some combination of the following: fever, skin rash, malaise (general ill feeling), severe nausea, headache, muscle ache, chills, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, respiratory symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat), and/or joint pain. Symptoms are listed on the patient information sheet and warning card that you receive each time you fill your prescription. You should keep the warning card with you. HSR might be confused with flu, but symptoms of HSR usually worsen, very slowly, and with every dose.

People who think they are experiencing HSR must be evaluated by an experienced HIV provider right away before they stop taking abacavir. Do not use a skin patch test to confirm HSR. Symptoms usually resolve after permanent discontinuation. If you develop HSR, abacavir should be stopped and you can never take abacavir or any product containing abacavir (Epzicom, Trizivir, Ziagen, or Triumeq) again (starting again is called rechallenging). Rechallenging can cause a rare life-threatening reaction. This does not apply to a missed dose when there is no HSR, but talk with your healthcare provider and watch for symptoms if you’ve stopped the drug for a few days, preferably under the observation of others who can call for medical help if you develop symptoms. An HSR can technically occur at any time, regardless of how long you have been taking the medication, however, it is much more likely to occur when you start (or re-start) the medication (90% occur within the first 6 weeks of treatment).

Some large observational studies suggest abacavir may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction (MI, or heart attack), in people with risk factors (such as older age, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease, and drug use), especially within the first 6 months of therapy. However, other studies, including a large meta-analysis, have shown no increase in cardiovascular risk. To date, no consensus has been reached on the association of abacavir with cardiac risk or a possible mechanism for the association. People who are at high risk for heart disease should discuss risks with their provider and they should be monitored more closely.

Alcohol can increase abacavir levels and therefore can increase the possibility of side effects. Tell your provider or pharmacist about all medications, herbals, and supplements you are taking or thinking of taking, prescribed or not, as there are other drug interactions which are not listed here.

The ACTG A5202 study found that abacavir/lamivudine (Epzicom) was inferior to tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) in getting people undetectable when their pre-treatment viral load was over 100,000 copies/mL. However, when combined with Tivicay (dolutegravir), Epzicom performed just as well as Truvada in people with high viral loads (over 100,000 copies/mL). Hence, Triumeq is the only abacavir-containing regimen recommended by DHHS as initial therapy for most HLA-B*5701 negative people. It is recommended that people with symptoms of acute respiratory disease consider HSR even if another diagnosis such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or flu is possible. But again, a simple test reveals whether you are at high risk for the allergic reaction. FDA researchers reported finding a mechanism for autoimmune drug reactions, including abacavir HSR, and hope it helps improve drug safety in the future. Ziagen as part of the combination tablet Epzicom is recommended by DHHS as one of the preferred NRTI combination components of an ART regimen during pregnancy.

See package insert for more complete information on potential side effects and interactions.

Abacavir is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor drug used for the treatment of HIV infection in combination with other HIV medicines. Serious side effects of abacavir include allergic reactions, a buildup of acid in the blood (lactic acidosis), and liver problems. If when taking abacavir you find yourself having an allergic reaction, stop the drug immediately and call your doctor. This hypersensitivity reaction can cause death. Your risk for this reaction is high if you have a specific gene variation, which can be determined by a blood test prescribed by a doctor.

Karen T.
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"They truly care, I tell everyone to go here. I've been with them since 2008."
Yolanda P.
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"Always helpful to save money on medication and very kind."
Michael A.
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"Helpful and knowledgeable. Can't ask for better service, thank you!"
Patti E.
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"The staff at Drug Mart are exceptionally helpful. The quality of their products are top notch. I recommend Drug Mart to everyone. Am with them for life!!"
Darryl F.
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"This is the best pharmacy I have ever been to. They are caring, helpful and treat you with respect."
Anita H.
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"My daughter was able to get emergency medication after hours within half hour of making the phone call to the 800#. I can't recommend Drug Mart more highly."
Robert T.
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"I've been going here for years since my doctor recommended this pharmacy. They're busier now then when I first started but their service is still top notch. Thanks again for all your help!"
David D.
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"They are most accommodating, courteous, friendly and professional pharmacist I've ever dealt with. I'm so grateful to call this pharmacy my own."
Tonia B.
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"Always very caring when asking a question about your medication they know what they're talking about and they are very knowledgeable I've been going to them for oh my goodness since they opened up wow where did time go anyway my drug store for life thank you!"
Josh P.
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"This pharmacy is one of the best. Pharmacist has lots of knowledge and staff takes time to explain in detail. They do other half of what doctors should do. Also, no waiting like big name pharmacy. I highly recommend this pharmacy. They also deliver and ship to anywhere in USA."
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Drug Mart Pharmacy
5.0
Based on 163 reviews
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Chanice Dorsey
Chanice Dorsey
02:45 12 Mar 20
The staff at Drug Mart are truly an extension of my family. Vik offered me one of the greatest opportunities while in... nursing school, as a graduate, and as a working professional. He continues to encourage young adults to pursue their dreams and provides them with opportunities to be impactful within the community. You can’t get any better than this.read more
langston hannah
langston hannah
12:02 07 Mar 20
I am very pleased with the service that I receive from the pharmacy. The people who serve you are very helpful and... friendly and assist you in any way that they can. The pharmacist are well informed with your prescription needs, if there's a problem with anything you need they will do their best to resolve any issue you have. I recommend everyone to check them out and get their prescriptions filled at Drug Mart. I will always be a customer of Drug Mart because they are so good at what they do.read more
tracey evans
tracey evans
16:32 03 Mar 20
Drug Mart is my family, I’ve been with them since day 1. I moved away for a few years to another state, I’ve been... back i NJ. a little over 5 years and I’m still a happy customer. They’re very friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful and understanding, prices are better then most..read more
Cassandra Hemby
Cassandra Hemby
21:33 28 Feb 20
I so appreciate the dear people @Drug Mart! I am recovering from cancer and one day while in Chemotherapy I was told I... would need a certain cream right away, but I wouldn't be able to pick it up that day.however there is this very courteous and sweet young lady named Michele that assured me it would be delivered to me in at my daughter's home in Woodbridge, NJ, because that is where I go after having treatment.The kind of caring and compassion received there have made the staff endearing to me and has restored my faith in customer service again.read more
Denise Eady
Denise Eady
20:38 24 Feb 20
I love this place. Best pharmacy around!!!. I have been using this pharmacy since it opened. Whenever I walk in,... everyone is very cordial and always pleasant and with a smile, and they always greet me by nmy name. Vic and the other Pharmacists are very knowledgeable, and the staff takes the time to explain any new medications in detail. If you are not able to pick up your prescriptions, they do HOME delivery which is great. I transferred from Walgreens pharmacy and I am so glad I did!!!read more
Jay Bhatt
Jay Bhatt
21:05 22 Feb 20
The quality of service provided by the pharmacist and the staff is excellent! I wouldn't go to any other pharmacy. They... truly care.read more
Cindy Hall
Cindy Hall
15:21 20 Feb 20
I never have to wait. This is the best pharmacy I ever went to. I highly recommend them to everyone!
Maisha Bryant
Maisha Bryant
00:32 20 Feb 20
I have known Vik and his family since they opened. They have bright back what it means to have a home town family... operated pharmacy. He remembers you, that you have had a baby etc. He is compassionate and always goes above and beyond. He trains his staff to pursue their own dreams. Some have gone on to school. My prayer is that God gives him a long healthy life and that his business continues to prosper. Oh and BTW if you move he does mail order so he can continue to be your pharmacist no need to switch!read more
Sharel E. Gordon-Love
Sharel E. Gordon-Love
19:46 19 Feb 20
My family has been with Drug Mart since they first open and we’ve received top notch service every single time. Vic... and the staff are very friendly, and we are greeted with a smileread more
Tammy Nichols
Tammy Nichols
23:23 18 Feb 20
I used to get my prescriptions at Cvs. But when Drug Mart open close to my house i figured I give then a try and have... not looked back. The staff is always kind, helpful, and considerate. LOVE THIS PLACE.❤read more
Yolanda Parker
Yolanda Parker
20:50 17 Feb 20
I enjoyed the customer service I experience when I go into this store the friendly atmosphere the warm welcome you get... upon entering and exitingread more
Mike Webb
Mike Webb
16:48 06 Feb 20
Great being able to pick up my meds at this pharmacy. They are the best!
Janet Bynum
Janet Bynum
18:21 28 Jan 20
Leaving his experience I had with Drug Mart it's coming there getting my medication and then delivering it to me very... happy who had Drug Mart in my life far as my medications is concerned I don't have to call for refills they deliver them to me I've been the drug mart play my medications concern about 7 years or more appreciate the people they appreciate me I'm happy with Drug Mart this is my the best pharmacist that I know thank youread more
james hunter
james hunter
21:25 24 Jan 20
Always ready to help! Any way possible thank you for all your years of service!
Michelle Reyes
Michelle Reyes
21:03 24 Jan 20
Awesome staff always willing to help out 🙂
cindy ortega
cindy ortega
20:41 24 Jan 20
I love this pharmacy. Everyone makes you feel like your family. Any issues with prescription they try to resolve it... asap. I recommend this pharmacy to everyone.read more
jacqueline wells
jacqueline wells
19:33 31 Dec 19
Drug mart has the most pleasant employees and the service is swift I can't say enough good things about this pharmacy... Thanks for your years of dedication and service in our communityread more
Chris Hanington
Chris Hanington
13:47 18 Jul 19
These people take great care of THEIR people. Impressive!
R Turner
R Turner
21:57 01 Jun 19
I've been going here for years since my doctor recommended this pharmacy. They're busier now then when I first started... but their service is still top notch. Thanks again for all your help!read more
John Aleksandrowicz
John Aleksandrowicz
22:21 14 Apr 19
Great pharmacy with great customer service. Vik is great. He obviously cares about people and understands the needs of... each. Thank you!read more
Karen T
Karen T
18:54 06 Jan 19
This pharmacy is the best! I left Walgreens and very glad I did. They take the time to explain my medicines and know me... by name. I recommended them to all my family and friends.read more
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