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Related to Retrovir: retrovirus, AZT, zidovudine




(zīdō`vyo͞odēn'), drug used to treat patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIVHIV,
human immunodeficiency virus, either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States.
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), which causes AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
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; also called azidothymidine. Originally developed in 1964 as an anticancer drug, AZT was never approved for that purpose. In 1984, Burroughs-Wellcome Company, which owned the rights to the drug, reexamined it as part of a search for any antiviral drugantiviral drug,
any of several drugs used to treat viral infections. The drugs act by interfering with a virus's ability to enter a host cell and replicate itself with the host cell's DNA.
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 that might be effective against the AIDS virus. It was approved by the FDA in 20 months, rather than the usual 8 to 10 years, in part for humanitarian reasons; thousands of people were dying of AIDS, no other treatment was forthcoming, and AIDS activists were lobbying heavily for approval.

AZT affects HIV's ability to reproduce by inhibiting the transcription of RNA to DNA. Although AZT can be helpful in the short term by promoting weight gain, decreasing the number of opportunistic infections, and improving T4 (CD4) lymphocyte counts (see immunityimmunity,
ability of an organism to resist disease by identifying and destroying foreign substances or organisms. Although all animals have some immune capabilities, little is known about nonmammalian immunity.
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), some researcher believe studies of its effectiveness to be flawed and regard the drug as too toxic for long-term use. There is also a question of whether it is helpful in HIV-positive, asymptomatic people. AZT does not cure or prevent AIDS, nor does it keep one from transmitting the virus to others, although some studies show that it does lessen the possibility that an HIV-infected mother will transmit the virus to her fetus.

Adverse effects include bone marrow depression, headache, nausea, muscle pain, and a reduction in the number of certain white blood cells. The risk of side effects increases when certain other drugs, including acetaminophenacetaminophen
, an analgesic and fever-reducing medicine. It is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines, including Tylenol and Midol. Introduced in the early 1900s, acetaminophen is a coal tar derivative that acts by interfering with the synthesis of
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, are taken at the same time.

References in periodicals archive ?
Taking Retrovir (zidovudine) also appeared to double the risk of cardiomyopathy.
Conf Retrovir Oppor Infect 2002 Washington Feb 24-28; 9: abstract no.
Protease Inhibitors Nucleotide Reverse Agenerase (generic name: amprenavir) Transcriptase Inhibitor Crixivan (indinavir) Viread (tenofovir, PMPA) Fortovase (saquinavir) Kaletra (lopinavir plus ritonavir) Nucleoside Reverse Norvir (ritonavir) Transcriptase Inhibitors Viracept (nelfinavir) Combivir (AZT plus 3TC) Epivir (lamivudine, also Nonnucleoside Reverse known as 3TC) Transcriptase Inhibitors Hivid (zalcitabine, ddC) Rescriptor (delavirdine) Retrovir (zidovudine, AZT) Sustiva (efavirenz) Trizivir (abacavir plus AZT plus 3TC) Viramune (nevirapine) Videx (didanosine, ddl) Zerit (stavudine, d4T) Ziagen (abacavir)
The results were so overwhelming that the study was stopped early and all the women were started on the Retrovir.
Azidothymidine (AZT)--made under the brand name Retrovir by the Burroughs Wellcome Co.
GSK has been a leader in research and development of HIV since the 1980s, with the development of the worlds first breakthrough medicine for HIV patients, Retrovir (zidovudine).
People taking AZT (zidovudine, Retrovir and various generic versions) had significantly lower increases in CD4 cell counts 1 year and 5 years after initiating therapy, and were also more likely to remain severely immunosuppressed than individuals taking an alternative drug.
They had been on zidovudine and lamivudine (brand names Retrovir and Epivir) for a median of roughly 5.
People taking the older nucleosides Retrovir, Videx, or Zerit were less likely to meet triglyceride goals than people taking newer nucleosides (14% versus 40%).
Trizivir is a "nuke" and is a combination of Combivir (3TC), Retrovir (AZT) and Ziagen (avacavir).
HIV Drugs 1999 Nonnucleoside Nucleoside Reverse Reverse Transcriptase Transcriptase Inhibitors Inhibitors (NNRTI) (NRTI) Rescriptor Combivir (delavirdine mesylate) (lamivudine/zidovudine) Viramune Epivir (nevirapine) (lamivudine) Sustiva Retrovir (efavirenz; DMP-266) (zidovudine; AZT; ZDV) Zerit (stavudine; d4T) Hivid (zalcitabine; ddC) Videx (didanosine; ddl) Ziagan (abacavir; 1592) Nucleotide Analogue Protease Inhibitors (PI) (*)Preveon Crixivan (adefovir dipivoxil; PMEA) (indinavir) Norvir (ritonavir) Fortovase (saquinavir) Viracept (nelfinavir mesylate) (*) Agenerase[TM] (amprenavir; 141W94, VX-478)
The drug, which the company is now calling Retrovir, is expected to cost several thousand dollars a year per patient.