These highlights do not include all the information needed to use Zidovudine Tablets safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for Zidovudine.Initial U.S. Approval: 1987 | Zidovudine

05:23 EDT 27th August 2014 | BioPortfolio

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Zidovudine Tablets have been associated with hematologic toxicity including neutropenia and severe anemia, particularly in patients with advanced HIV-1 disease [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Prolonged use of Zidovudine Tablets has been associated with symptomatic myopathy [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues alone or in combination, including Zidovudine Tablets and other antiretrovirals. Suspend treatment if clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity occur [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3) ].

Zidovudine Tablets USP, a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

Zidovudine Tablets USP are indicated for the prevention of maternal-fetal HIV-1 transmission [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) ]. The indication is based on a dosing regimen that included 3 components:

Points to consider prior to initiating Zidovudine Tablets USP in pregnant women for the prevention of maternal-fetal HIV-1 transmission include:

The recommended oral dose of zidovudine is 600 mg per day in divided doses in combination with other antiretroviral agents.

Healthcare professionals should pay special attention to accurate calculation of the dose of zidovudine tablets, transcription of the medication order, dispensing information, and dosing instructions to minimize risk for medication dosing errors.

Prescribers should calculate the appropriate dose of zidovudine tablets for each child based on body weight (kg) and should not exceed the recommended adult dose.

Before prescribing zidovudine tablets, children should be assessed for the ability to swallow tablets. If a child is unable to reliably swallow a zidovudine tablet, the zidovudine syrup formulation should be prescribed.

The recommended dosage in pediatric patients 4 weeks of age and older and weighing ≥4 kg is provided in Table 1. Zidovudine syrup should be used to provide accurate dosage when whole tablets are not appropriate.

Alternatively, dosing for zidovudine can be based on body surface area (BSA) for each child. The recommended oral dose of zidovudine is 480 mg/m/day in divided doses (240 mg/m twice daily or 160 mg/m three times daily). In some cases the dose calculated by mg/kg will not be the same as that calculated by BSA.

Table 1: Recommended Pediatric Dosage of Zidovudine
Body Weight (kg) Total Daily Dose Dosage Regimen and Dose
b.i.d. t.i.d.
4 to <9 24 mg/kg/day 12 mg/kg 8 mg/kg
≥9 to <30 18 mg/kg/day 9 mg/kg 6 mg/kg
≥30 600 mg/day 300 mg 200 mg

The recommended dosage regimen for administration to pregnant women (>14 weeks of pregnancy) and their neonates is:

100 mg orally 5 times per day until the start of labor [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. During labor and delivery, intravenous zidovudine should be administered at 2 mg/kg (total body weight) over 1 hour followed by a continuous intravenous infusion of 1 mg/kg/hour (total body weight) until clamping of the umbilical cord.

2 mg/kg orally every 6 hours starting within 12 hours after birth and continuing through 6 weeks of age. Neonates unable to receive oral dosing may be administered zidovudine intravenously at 1.5 mg/kg, infused over 30 minutes, every 6 hours.

Significant anemia (hemoglobin <7.5 g/dL or reduction >25% of baseline) and/or significant neutropenia (granulocyte count <750 cells/mm3 or reduction >50% from baseline) may require a dose interruption until evidence of marrow recovery is observed [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. In patients who develop significant anemia, dose interruption does not necessarily eliminate the need for transfusion. If marrow recovery occurs following dose interruption, resumption in dose may be appropriate using adjunctive measures such as epoetin alfa at recommended doses, depending on hematologic indices such as serum erythropoetin level and patient tolerance.

In patients maintained on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, the recommended dosage is 100 mg every 6 to 8 hours [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

There are insufficient data to recommend dose adjustment of zidovudine in patients with mild to moderate impaired hepatic function or liver cirrhosis.

Zidovudine Tablets USP, 300 mg are supplied as round, white, biconvex, film-coated tablets which are plain on one side and embossed with “54 777” on the other side.

Zidovudine Tablets USP are contraindicated in patients who have had potentially life-threatening allergic reactions (e.g., anaphylaxis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome) to any of the components of the formulation.

Zidovudine should be used with caution in patients who have bone marrow compromise evidenced by granulocyte count <1,000 cells/mm or hemoglobin <9.5 g/dL. Hematologic toxicities appear to be related to pretreatment bone marrow reserve and to dose and duration of therapy. In patients with advanced symptomatic HIV-1 disease, anemia and neutropenia were the most significant adverse events observed. In patients who experience hematologic toxicity, a reduction in hemoglobin may occur as early as 2 to 4 weeks, and neutropenia usually occurs after 6 to 8 weeks. There have been reports of pancytopenia associated with the use of zidovudine, which was reversible in most instances after discontinuance of the drug. However, significant anemia, in many cases requiring dose adjustment, discontinuation of zidovudine, and/or blood transfusions, has occurred during treatment with zidovudine alone or in combination with other antiretrovirals.

Frequent blood counts are strongly recommended to detect severe anemia or neutropenia in patients with poor bone marrow reserve, particularly in patients with advanced HIV-1 disease who are treated with zidovudine. For HIV-1-infected individuals and patients with asymptomatic or early HIV-1 disease, periodic blood counts are recommended. If anemia or neutropenia develops, dosage interruption may be needed [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) ].

Myopathy and myositis with pathological changes, similar to that produced by HIV-1 disease, have been associated with prolonged use of zidovudine.

Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues alone or in combination, including zidovudine and other antiretrovirals. A majority of these cases have been in women. Obesity and prolonged exposure to antiretroviral nucleoside analogues may be risk factors. Particular caution should be exercised when administering zidovudine to any patient with known risk factors for liver disease; however, cases have also been reported in patients with no known risk factors. Treatment with zidovudine should be suspended in any patient who develops clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity (which may include hepatomegaly and steatosis even in the absence of marked transaminase elevations).

In vitro studies have shown ribavirin can reduce the phosphorylation of pyrimidine nucleoside analogues such as zidovudine. Although no evidence of a pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction (e.g., loss of HIV-1/HCV virologic suppression) was seen when ribavirin was coadministered with zidovudine in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ], exacerbation of anemia due to ribavirin has been reported when zidovudine is part of the HIV regimen. Coadministration of ribavirin and zidovudine is not advised. Consideration should be given to replacing zidovudine in established combination HIV-1/HCV therapy, especially in patients with a known history of zidovudine-induced anemia.

Hepatic decompensation (some fatal) has occurred in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy for HIV-1 and interferon alfa with or without ribavirin. Patients receiving interferon alfa with or without ribavirin and zidovudine should be closely monitored for treatment-associated toxicities, especially hepatic decompensation, neutropenia, and anemia.

Discontinuation of zidovudine should be considered as medically appropriate. Dose reduction or discontinuation of interferon alfa, ribavirin, or both should also be considered if worsening clinical toxicities are observed, including hepatic decompensation (e.g., Childs Pugh >6) (see the complete prescribing information for interferon and ribavirin).

Zidovudine should not be administered with combination products that contain zidovudine as one of their components (e.g., lamivudine/zidovudine combination product or abacavir sulfate/lamivudine/zidovudine combination product).

Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including zidovudine. During the initial phase of combination antiretroviral treatment, patients whose immune systems respond may develop an inflammatory response to indolent or residual opportunistic infections (such as Mycobacterium avium infection, cytomegalovirus, Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia [PCP], or tuberculosis), which may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.

Redistribution/accumulation of body fat, including central obesity, dorsocervical fat enlargement (buffalo hump), peripheral wasting, facial wasting, breast enlargement, and “cushingoid appearance,” have been observed in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. The mechanism and long-term consequences of these events are currently unknown. A causal relationship has not been established.

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

The frequency and severity of adverse reactions associated with the use of zidovudine are greater in patients with more advanced infection at the time of initiation of therapy.

Table 2 summarizes events reported at a statistically significant greater incidence for patients receiving zidovudine in a monotherapy study.

In addition to the adverse reactions listed in Table 2, adverse reactions observed at an incidence of ≥5% in any treatment arm in clinical studies (NUCA3001, NUCA3002, NUCB3001, and NUCB3002) were abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, arthralgia, chills, dyspepsia, fatigue, insomnia, musculoskeletal pain, myalgia, and neuropathy. Additionally, in these studies hyperbilirubinemia was reported at an incidence of ≤0.8%.

Selected laboratory abnormalities observed during a clinical study of monotherapy with zidovudine are shown in Table 3.

ULN = Upper limit of normal.

Table 2: Percentage (%) of Patients with Adverse ReactionsReported in ≥5% of study population. in Asymptomatic HIV-1 Infection (ACTG019)

Adverse Reaction
500 mg/day
(N = 453)

(N = 428)
Body as a whole
Asthenia 9%Not statistically significant versus placebo. 6%
Headache 63% 53%
Malaise 53% 45%
Anorexia 20% 11%
Constipation 6% 4%
Nausea 51% 30%
Vomiting 17% 10%
Table 3: Frequencies of Selected (Grade 3/4) Laboratory Abnormalities in Patients with Asymptomatic HIV Infection (ACTG019)

Test (Abnormal level)
500 mg/day
(N = 453)

(N = 428)
Anemia (Hgb<8 g/dL) 1% <1%
Granulocytopenia (<750 cells/mm3) 2% 2%
Thrombocytopenia (platelets<50,000/mm3) 0% <1%
ALT (>5 x ULN) 3% 3%
AST (>5 x ULN) 1% 2%

The clinical adverse reactions reported among adult recipients of zidovudine may also occur in pediatric patients.

Study ACTG300: Selected clinical adverse reactions and physical findings with a ≥5% frequency during therapy with lamivudine oral suspension 4 mg/kg twice daily plus zidovudine 160 mg/m 3 times daily compared with didanosine in therapy-naive (≤56 days of antiretroviral therapy) pediatric patients are listed in Table 4.

Selected laboratory abnormalities experienced by therapy-naive (≤56 days of antiretroviral therapy) pediatric patients are listed in Table 5.

ULN = Upper limit of normal.

ANC = Absolute neutrophil count.

Macrocytosis was reported in the majority of pediatric patients receiving zidovudine 180 mg/m every 6 hours in open-label studies. Additionally, adverse reactions reported at an incidence of <6% in these studies were congestive heart failure, decreased reflexes, ECG abnormality, edema, hematuria, left ventricular dilation, nervousness/irritability, and weight loss.

Table 4: Selected Clinical Adverse Reactions and Physical Findings (≥5% Frequency) in Pediatric Patients in Study ACTG300

Adverse Reaction
Lamivudine plus
(N = 236)

(N = 235)
Body as a whole
Fever 25% 32%
Hepatomegaly 11% 11%
Nausea & vomiting 8% 7%
Diarrhea 8% 6%
Stomatitis 6% 12%
Splenomegaly 5% 8%
Cough 15% 18%
Abnormal breath sounds/wheezing 7% 9%
Ear, Nose, and Throat
Signs or symptoms of earsIncludes pain, discharge, erythema, or swelling of an ear. 7% 6%
Nasal discharge or congestion 8% 11%
Skin rashes 12% 14%
Lymphadenopathy 9% 11%
Table 5: Frequencies of Selected (Grade 3/4) Laboratory Abnormalities in Pediatric Patients in Study ACTG300
(Abnormal Level)
Lamivudine plus

Neutropenia (ANC<400 cells/mm3) 8% 3%
Anemia (Hgb<7.0 g/dL) 4% 2%
Thrombocytopenia (platelets<50,000/mm3) 1% 3%
ALT (>10 x ULN) 1% 3%
AST (>10 x ULN) 2% 4%
Lipase (>2.5 x ULN) 3% 3%
Total amylase (>2.5 x ULN) 3% 3%

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in HIV-1-infected women and their neonates conducted to determine the utility of zidovudine for the prevention of maternal-fetal HIV-1 transmission, zidovudine syrup at 2 mg/kg was administered every 6 hours for 6 weeks to neonates beginning within 12 hours following birth. The most commonly reported adverse reactions were anemia (hemoglobin <9.0 g/dL) and neutropenia (<1,000 celIs/mm). Anemia occurred in 22% of the neonates who received zidovudine and in 12% of the neonates who received placebo. The mean difference in hemoglobin values was less than 1.0 g/dL for neonates receiving zidovudine compared with neonates receiving placebo. No neonates with anemia required transfusion and all hemoglobin values spontaneously returned to normal within 6 weeks after completion of therapy with zidovudine. Neutropenia in neonates was reported with similar frequency in the group that received zidovudine (21%) and in the group that received placebo (27%). The long-term consequences of in utero and infant exposure to zidovudine are unknown.

In addition to adverse reactions reported from clinical trials, the following reactions have been identified during postmarketing use of zidovudine. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These reactions have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to zidovudine.

Body as a Whole: Back pain, chest pain, flu-like syndrome, generalized pain, redistribution/accumulation of body fat [see Warnings and Precautions (5.7)].

Cardiovascular: Cardiomyopathy, syncope.

Endocrine: Gynecomastia.

Eye: Macular edema.

Gastrointestinal: Dysphagia, flatulence, oral mucosa pigmentation, mouth ulcer.

General: Sensitization reactions including anaphylaxis and angioedema, vasculitis.

Hemic and Lymphatic: Aplastic anemia, hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, pancytopenia with marrow hypoplasia, pure red cell aplasia.

Hepatobiliary Tract and Pancreas: Hepatitis, hepatomegaly with steatosis, jaundice, lactic acidosis, pancreatitis.

Musculoskeletal: Increased CPK, increased LDH, muscle spasm, myopathy and myositis with pathological changes (similar to that produced by HIV-1 disease), rhabdomyolysis, tremor.

Nervous: Anxiety, confusion, depression, dizziness, loss of mental acuity, mania, paresthesia, seizures, somnolence, vertigo.

Respiratory: Dyspnea, rhinitis, sinusitis.

Skin: Changes in skin and nail pigmentation, pruritus, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, sweat, urticaria.

Special Senses: Amblyopia, hearing loss, photophobia, taste perversion.

Urogenital: Urinary frequency, urinary hesitancy.

Concomitant use of zidovudine with stavudine should be avoided since an antagonistic relationship has been demonstrated in vitro.

Some nucleoside analogues affecting DNA replication, such as ribavirin, antagonize the in vitro antiviral activity of zidovudine against HIV-1; concomitant use of such drugs should be avoided.

Concomitant use of zidovudine with doxorubicin should be avoided since an antagonistic relationship has been demonstrated in vitro.

Coadministration of ganciclovir, interferon alfa, ribavirin, and other bone marrow suppressive or cytotoxic agents may increase the hematologic toxicity of zidovudine.

In humans, treatment with zidovudine during pregnancy reduced the rate of maternal-fetal HIV-1 transmission from 24.9% for infants born to placebo-treated mothers to 7.8% for infants born to mothers treated with zidovudine [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. There were no differences in pregnancy-related adverse events between the treatment groups. Animal reproduction studies in rats and rabbits showed evidence of embryotoxicity and increased fetal malformations.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in HIV-1-infected pregnant women to determine the utility of zidovudine for the prevention of maternal-fetal HIV-1-transmission [see Clinical Studies (14.3)]. Congenital abnormalities occurred with similar frequency between neonates born to mothers who received zidovudine and neonates born to mothers who received placebo. The observed abnormalities included problems in embryogenesis (prior to 14 weeks) or were recognized on ultrasound before or immediately after initiation of study drug.

Increased fetal resorptions occurred in pregnant rats and rabbits treated with doses of zidovudine that produced drug plasma concentrations 66 to 226 times (rats) and 12 to 87 times (rabbits) the mean steady-state peak human plasma concentration following a single 100-mg dose of zidovudine. There were no other reported developmental anomalies. In another developmental toxicity study, pregnant rats received zidovudine up to near-lethal doses that produced peak plasma concentrations 350 times peak human plasma concentrations (300 times the daily exposure [AUC] in humans given 600 mg/day zidovudine). This dose was associated with marked maternal toxicity and an increased incidence of fetal malformations. However, there were no signs of teratogenicity at doses up to one fifth the lethal dose [see Nonclinical Toxicology (13.2) ].

To monitor maternal-fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to zidovudine, an Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry has been established. Physicians are encouraged to register patients by calling 1-800-258-4263.

Zidovudine is excreted in human milk [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) ].

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that HIV-1-infected mothers in the United States not breastfeed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV-1 infection. Because of both the potential for HIV-1 transmission and the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, mothers should be instructed not to breastfeed if they are receiving zidovudine.

Zidovudine has been studied in HIV-1-infected pediatric patients ≥6 weeks of age who had HIV-1-related symptoms or who were asymptomatic with abnormal laboratory values indicating significant HIV-1-related immunosuppression. Zidovudine has also been studied in neonates perinatally exposed to HIV-1 [see Dosage and Administration (2.1), Adverse Reactions (6.1), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), Clinical Studies (14.2), (14.3)].

Clinical studies of zidovudine did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

In patients with severely impaired renal function (CrCl<15 mL/min), dosage reduction is recommended [see Dosage and Administration (2.5), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Zidovudine is eliminated from the body primarily by renal excretion following metabolism in the liver (glucuronidation). Although the data are limited, zidovudine concentrations appear to be increased in patients with severely impaired hepatic function which may increase the risk of hematologic toxicity [see Dosage and Administration (2.5), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Acute overdoses of zidovudine have been reported in pediatric patients and adults. These involved exposures up to 50 grams. No specific symptoms or signs have been identified following acute overdosage with zidovudine apart from those listed as adverse events such as fatigue, headache, vomiting, and occasional reports of hematological disturbances. All patients recovered without permanent sequelae. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis appear to have a negligible effect on the removal of zidovudine while elimination of its primary metabolite, 3´-azido-3´-deoxy-5´-0-b-D-glucopyranuronosylthymidine (GZDV), is enhanced.

Zidovudine (formerly called azidothymidine [AZT]), a pyrimidine nucleoside analogue active against HIV-1. The chemical name of zidovudine is 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine; it has the following structural formula:

Zidovudine is a white to beige, odorless, crystalline solid with a molecular weight of 267.24 and a solubility of 20.1 mg/mL in water at 25°C. The molecular formula is CHN0.

Zidovudine Tablets are for oral administration. Each film-coated tablet contains 300 mg of zidovudine and the inactive ingredients are colloidal silicon dioxide, hypromellose, lactose (anhydrous), magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polydextrose, sodium starch glycolate, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.

IMAGE 6cab4f5f-257c-4709-aa1c-1f43706cd9c1-01.jpg

Zidovudine is an antiviral agent [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.4)].

In adults, following oral administration, zidovudine is rapidly absorbed and extensively distributed, with peak serum concentrations occurring within 0.5 to 1.5 hours. The AUC was equivalent when zidovudine was administered as zidovudine tablets or syrup compared with zidovudine capsules. The pharmacokinetic properties of zidovudine in fasting adult patients are summarized in Table 6.

Table 6: Zidovudine Pharmacokinetic Parameters in Fasting Adult Patients

Mean ± SD
(except where noted)
Oral bioavailability (%) 64 ± 10
(N = 5)
Apparent volume of distribution (L/kg) 1.6 ± 0.6
(N = 8)
Plasma protein binding (%) <38
CSF:plasma ratioMedian [range]. 0.6 [0.04 to 2.62]
(N = 39)
Systemic clearance (L/hr/kg) 1.6 ± 0.6
(N = 6)
Renal clearance (L/hr/kg) 0.34 ± 0.05
(N = 9)
Elimination half-life (hr)Approximate range. 0.5 to 3
(N = 19)

The apparent volume of distribution of zidovudine, following oral administration, is 1.6 ± 0.6 L/kg; and binding to plasma protein is low, <38% (Table 6).

Zidovudine is primarily eliminated by hepatic metabolism. The major metabolite of zidovudine is GZDV. GZDV AUC is about 3-fold greater than the zidovudine AUC. Urinary recovery of zidovudine and GZDV accounts for 14% and 74%, respectively, of the dose following oral administration. A second metabolite, 3'-amino-3'-deoxythymidine (AMT), has been identified in the plasma following single-dose intravenous (IV) administration of zidovudine. The AMT AUC was one fifth of the zidovudine AUC. Pharmacokinetics of zidovudine were dose independent at oral dosing regimens ranging from 2 mg/kg every 8 hours to 10 mg/kg every 4 hours.

Zidovudine may be administered with or without food. The zidovudine AUC was similar when a single dose of zidovudine was administered with food.

Zidovudine clearance was decreased resulting in increased zidovudine and GZDV half-life and AUC in patients with impaired renal function (N = 14) following a single 200 mg oral dose (Table 7). Plasma concentrations of AMT were not determined. A dose adjustment should not be necessary for patients with creatinine clearance (CrCl) ≥15 mL/min.

Table 7: Zidovudine Pharmacokinetic Parameters in Patients With Severe Renal ImpairmentData are expressed as mean ± standard deviation.

Control Subjects
(Normal Renal Function)
(N = 6)
Patients With Renal
(N = 14)
CrCl (mL/min) 120 ± 8 18 ± 2
Zidovudine AUC (ng•hr/mL) 1,400 ± 200 3,100 ± 300
Zidovudine half-life (hr) 1.0 ± 0.2 1.4 ± 0.1

The pharmacokinetics and tolerance of zidovudine were evaluated in a multiple-dose study in patients undergoing hemodialysis (N = 5) or peritoneal dialysis (N = 6) receiving escalating doses up to 200 mg 5 times daily for 8 weeks. Daily doses of 500 mg or less were well tolerated despite significantly elevated GZDV plasma concentrations. Apparent zidovudine oral clearance was approximately 50% of that reported in patients with normal renal function. Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis appeared to have a negligible effect on the removal of zidovudine, whereas GZDV elimination was enhanced. A dosage adjustment is recommended for patients undergoing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis [see Dosage and Administration (2.4) ].

Data describing the effect of hepatic impairment on the pharmacokinetics of zidovudine are limited. However, because zidovudine is eliminated primarily by hepatic metabolism, it is expected that zidovudine clearance would be decreased and plasma concentrations would be increased following administration of the recommended adult doses to patients with hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.5)].

Zidovudine pharmacokinetics have been evaluated in HIV-1-infected pediatric patients (Table 8).

Overall, zidovudine pharmacokinetics in pediatric patients greater than 3 months of age are similar to those in adult patients. Proportional increases in plasma zidovudine concentrations were observed following administration of oral solution from 90 to 240 mg/m every 6 hours. Oral bioavailability, terminal half-life, and oral clearance were comparable to adult values. As in adult patients, the major route of elimination was by metabolism to GZDV. After intravenous dosing, about 29% of the dose was excreted in the urine unchanged, and about 45% of the dose was excreted as GZDV [see Dosage and Administration (2.1) ].

Zidovudine pharmacokinetics have been evaluated in pediatric patients from birth to 3 months of life. Zidovudine elimination was determined immediately following birth in 8 neonates who were exposed to zidovudine in utero. The half-life was 13.0 ± 5.8 hours. In neonates ≤14 days old, bioavailability was greater, total body clearance was slower, and half-life was longer than in pediatric patients >14 days old. For dose recommendations for neonates [see Dosage and Administration (2.2) ].

Table 8: Zidovudine Pharmacokinetic Parameters in Pediatric PatientsData presented as mean ± standard deviation except where noted.

Birth to 14 Days
of Age
14 Days to 3 Months
of Age
3 Months to 12 Years
of Age
Oral bioavailability (%) 89 ± 19
(N = 15)
61 ± 19
(N = 17)
65 ± 24
(N = 18)
CSF:plasma ratio no data no data 0.68 [0.03 to 3.25]Median [range].
(N = 38)
CL (L/hr/kg) 0.65 ± 0.29
(N = 18)
1.14 ± 0.24
(N = 16)
1.85 ± 0.47
(N = 20)
Elimination half-life (hr) 3.1 ± 1.2
(N = 21)
1.9 ± 0.7
(N = 18)
1.5 ± 0.7
(N = 21)

Zidovudine pharmacokinetics have been studied in a Phase 1 study of 8 women during the last trimester of pregnancy. Zidovudine pharmacokinetics were similar to those of nonpregnant adults. Consistent with passive transmission of the drug across the placenta, zidovudine concentrations in neonatal plasma at birth were essentially equal to those in maternal plasma at delivery [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

Although data are limited, methadone maintenance therapy in 5 pregnant women did not appear to alter zidovudine pharmacokinetics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that HIV-1-infected mothers not breastfeed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV-1. After administration of a single dose of 200 mg zidovudine to 13 HIV-1-infected women, the mean concentration of zidovudine was similar in human milk and serum [see Use in Specific Populations (8.3) ].

Zidovudine pharmacokinetics have not been studied in patients over 65 years of age.

A pharmacokinetic study in healthy male (N = 12) and female (N = 12) subjects showed no differences in zidovudine exposure (AUC) when a single dose of zidovudine was administered as the 300 mg zidovudine tablet.

[See Drug Interactions (7)].

↑ = Increase; ↓ = Decrease; ↔ = no significant change; AUC = area under the concentration

versus time curve; CI = confidence interval.


Roxane Laboratories, Inc

Active Ingredients


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To study the safety, tolerance, pharmacokinetics, and anti-HIV effects of combination zidovudine (AZT) and PMEA (adefovir) therapy.

PubMed Articles [12 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Simultaneous quantitation of zidovudine, efavirenz, lopinavir and ritonavir in human hair by liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-tandem mass spectrometry.

Nowadays, zidovudine, efavirenz, lopinavir and ritonavir are important components of the second-line antiretroviral therapeutic regimen of National Free Antiretroviral Treatment Program in China. The ...

First reported use of zidovudine for prevention of perinatal HIV transmission in a premature neonate on extra corporal membrane oxygenation.

Engineered mixed oxide-based polymeric composites for enhanced antimicrobial activity and sustained release of antiretroviral drug.

Here, pH-responsive engineered polymeric composites were fabricated from sodium alginate and mixed Cu/Zn oxides. The resulting alginate-CuZnO composites were characterized by FTIR, SEM and XRD, then u...

Raman spectroscopy of pH-induced release of zidovudine from lactobionic acid-conjugated PEGylated gold colloids.

Zidovudine (AZT) adsorbed on colloidal gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) undergoes pH-induced conformational changes according to spectral changes in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). In acidic pH va...

Optimization of nanostructured lipid carriers for Zidovudine delivery using a microwave-assisted production method.

An adapted methodology for obtaining lipid nanoparticles that only uses the microwave reactor in the synthesis process was developed. The method has the following features: one-pot, one-step, fast, pr...

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Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV)
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the causative agent of AIDS. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, more commonly known as HIV, is a member of the lentivirus sub-set of the retrovirus family of pathogens. It causes AIDS, or Acquired Immuno Deficiency Sy...

AIDS; Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV; Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV infection causes AIDS. HIV infection also causes the production of anti-HIV antibodies, which forms the test for HIV in patients. People who have the HIV antibodies are ...

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Table 9: Effect of Coadministered Drugs on Zidovudine AUCThis table is not all inclusive.