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Ziagen (abacavir) – Package leaflet - J05AF06

Updated on site: 11-Oct-2017

Medication nameZiagen
ATC CodeJ05AF06
Substanceabacavir
ManufacturerViiV Healthcare UK Limited

Package leaflet: Information for the user

Ziagen 300 mg Film-coated tablets

Abacavir

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.

-Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.

-If you have any further questions ask your doctor or pharmacist.

-This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.

-If you get any side effects talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

IMPORTANT - Hypersensitivity reactions

Ziagen contains abacavir (which is also an active substance in medicines such as Kivexa, Triumeq and Trizivir). Some people who take abacavir may develop a hypersensitivity reaction (a serious allergic reaction), which can be life-threatening if they continue to take abacavir containing products.

You must carefully read all the information under ‘Hypersensitivity reactions’ in the panel in Section 4.

The Ziagen pack includes an Alert Card, to remind you and medical staff about abacavir hypersensitivity. Detach this card and keep it with you at all times.

What is in this leaflet

1.What Ziagen is and what it is used for

2.What you need to know before you take Ziagen

3.How to take Ziagen

4.Possible side effects

5.How to store Ziagen

6.Contents of the pack and other information

1.What Ziagen is and what it is used for

Ziagen is used to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection.

Ziagen contains the active ingredient abacavir. Abacavir belongs to a group of anti-retroviral medicines called nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).

Ziagen does not completely cure HIV infection; it reduces the amount of virus in your body, and keeps it at a low level. It also increases the CD4 cell count in your blood. CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that are important in helping your body to fight infection.

Not everyone responds to treatment with Ziagen in the same way. Your doctor will monitor the effectiveness of your treatment.

2.What you need to know before you take Ziagen

Do not take Ziagen:

if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to abacavir (or any other medicine containing abacavir –such as Trizivir, Triumeq or Kivexa) or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in Section 6)

Carefully read all the information about hypersensitivity reactions in Section 4.

Check with your doctor if you think this applies to you.

Take special care with Ziagen

Some people taking Ziagen for HIV are more at risk of serious side effects. You need to be aware of the extra risks:

if you have moderate or severe liver disease

if you have ever had liver disease, including hepatitis B or C

if you are seriously overweight (especially if you are a woman)

if you have severe kidney disease

Talk to your doctor if any of these apply to you. You may need extra check-ups, including blood tests, while you are taking your medicine. See Section 4 for more information.

Abacavir hypersensitivity reactions

Even patients who don’t have the HLA-B*5701 gene may still develop a hypersensitivity reaction (a serious allergic reaction).

Carefully read all the information about hypersensitivity reactions in Section 4 of this leaflet.

Risk of heart attack

It cannot be excluded that abacavir may increase the risk of having a heart attack.

Tell your doctor if you have heart problems, if you smoke, or have other illnesses that may increase your risk of heart disease such as high blood pressure, or diabetes. Do not stop taking Ziagen unless your doctor advises you to do so.

Look out for important symptoms

Some people taking medicines for HIV infection develop other conditions, which can be serious. You need to know about important signs and symptoms to look out for while you are taking Ziagen.

Read the information ‘Other possible side effects of combination therapy for HIV’ in Section 4 of this leaflet.

Protect other people

HIV infection is spread by sexual contact with someone who has the infection, or by transfer of infected blood (for example, by sharing injection needles). You can still pass on HIV when taking this medicine, although the risk is lowered by effective antiretroviral therapy. Discuss with your doctor the precautions needed to avoid infecting other people.

Other medicines and Ziagen

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, or if you have taken any recently, including herbal medicines or other medicines you bought without a prescription. Remember to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you begin taking a new medicine while you are taking Ziagen.

Some medicines interact with Ziagen

These include:

phenytoin, for treating epilepsy

Tell your doctor if you are taking phenytoin. Your doctor may need to monitor you while you are taking Ziagen.

methadone used as a heroin substitute. Abacavir increases the rate at which methadone is removed from the body. If you are taking methadone, you will be checked for any withdrawal symptoms. Your methadone dose may need to be changed.

Tell your doctor if you are taking methadone.

Pregnancy

Ziagen is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Ziagen and similar medicines may cause side effects in unborn babies. If you have taken Ziagen during your pregnancy, your doctor may request regular blood tests and other diagnostic tests to monitor the development of your child. In children whose mothers took NRTIs during pregnancy, the benefit from the protection against HIV outweighed the risk of side effects.

Breast-feeding

Women who are HIV-positive must not breast-feed, because HIV infection can be passed on to the baby in breast milk. A small amount of the ingredients in Ziagen can also pass into your breast milk. If you are breast-feeding, or thinking about breast-feeding:

Talk to your doctor immediately.

Driving and using machines

Do not drive or operate machines unless you are feeling well.

3.How to take Ziagen

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

Swallow the tablets with some water. Ziagen can be taken with or without food.

If you cannot swallow the tablet(s), you may crush and combine them with a small amount of food or drink, and take all the dose immediately.

Stay in regular contact with your doctor

Ziagen helps to control your condition. You need to keep taking it every day to stop your illness getting worse. You may still develop other infections and illnesses linked to HIV infection.

Keep in touch with your doctor, and do not stop taking Ziagen without your doctor’s advice.

How much to take

Adults, adolescents and children weighing at least 25 kg

The usual dose of Ziagen is 600 mg a day. This can be taken either as one 300 mg tablet twice a day or two 300 mg tablets once a day.

Children from one year of age weighing less than 25 kg

The dose given depends on the body weight of your child. The recommended dose is:

Children weighing at least 20 kg and less than 25 kg: The usual dose of Ziagen is 450 mg a day. This can be given as 150 mg (half of a tablet) taken in the morning and 300 mg (one whole tablet) taken in the evening, or 450 mg (one and a half tablets) once a day as advised by your doctor.

Children weighing at least 14 kg and less than 20 kg: The usual dose of Ziagen is 300 mg a day. This can be given as 150 mg (half of a tablet) twice daily, or 300 mg (one whole tablet) once a day as advised by your doctor.

The tablet can be divided into equal doses.

An oral solution (20 mg abacavir/ml) is also available for the treatment of children over three months of age and weighing less than 14 kg, or for people who need a lower than usual dose, or who cannot take tablets.

If you take more Ziagen than you should

If you accidentally take too much Ziagen, tell your doctor or your pharmacist, or contact your nearest hospital emergency department for further advice.

If you forget to take Ziagen

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then continue your treatment as before. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

It is important to take Ziagen regularly, because if you take it at irregular intervals, you may be more likely to have a hypersensitivity reaction.

If you have stopped taking Ziagen

If you have stopped taking Ziagen for any reason - especially because you think you are having side effects, or because you have other illness:

Talk to your doctor before you start taking it again. Your doctor will check whether your symptoms were related to a hypersensitivity reaction. If the doctor thinks they may have been related, you will be told never again to take Ziagen, or any other medicine containing abacavir (e.g. Triumeq,Trizivir or Kivexa). It is important that you follow this advice.

If your doctor advises that you can start taking Ziagen again, you may be asked to take your first doses in a place where you will have ready access to medical care if you need it.

4.Possible side effects

During HIV therapy there may be an increase in weight and in levels of blood lipids and glucose. This is partly linked to restored health and life style, and in the case of blood lipids sometimes to the HIV medicines themselves. Your doctor will test for these changes.

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.

When you are being treated for HIV, it can be hard to tell whether a symptom is a side effect of Ziagen or other medicines you are taking, or an effect of the HIV disease itself. So it is very important to talk to your doctor about any changes in your health.

Even patients who don’t have the HLA-B*5701 gene may still develop a hypersensitivity reaction (a serious allergic reaction), described in this leaflet in the panel headed ‘Hypersensitivity reactions’.

It is very important that you read and understand the information about this serious reaction.

As well as the side effects listed below for Ziagen, other conditions can develop during combination therapy for HIV.

It is important to read the information later in this section under ‘Other possible side effects of combination therapy for HIV’.

Hypersensitivity reactions

Ziagen contains abacavir (which is also an active substance in Trizivir , Triumeq and Kivexa).

Abacavir can cause a serious allergic reaction known as a hypersensitivity reaction.

These hypersensitivity reactions have been seen more frequently in people taking medicines that contain abacavir.

Who gets these reactions?

Anyone taking Ziagen could develop a hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir, which could be life threatening if they continue to take Ziagen.

You are more likely to develop such a reaction if you have the HLA-B*5701 gene (but you can get a reaction even if you do not have this gene). You should have been tested for this gene before Ziagen was prescribed for you. If you know you have this gene, tell your doctor before you take Ziagen. About 3 to 4 in every 100 patients treated with abacavir in a clinical trial who did not have the HLA- B*5701 gene developed a hypersensitivity reaction.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms are:

fever (high temperature) and skin rash

Other common symptoms are:

nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick), diarrhoea, abdominal (stomach) pain, severe tiredness Other symptoms include:

Pains in the joints or muscles, swelling of the neck, shortness of breath, sore throat, cough, occasional headaches, inflammation of the eye (conjunctivitis), mouth ulcers, low blood pressure, tingling or numbness of the hands or feet.

When do these reactions happen?

Hypersensitivity reactions can start at any time during treatment with Ziagen, but are more likely during the first 6 weeks of treatment.

If you are caring for a child who is being treated with Ziagen, it is important that you understand the information about this hypersensitivity reaction. If your child gets the symptoms described below it is essential that you follow the instructions given.

Contact your doctor immediately:

1if you get a skin rash, OR

2if you get symptoms from at least 2 of the following groups:

-fever

-shortness of breath, sore throat or cough

-nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain

-severe tiredness or achiness, or generally feeling ill

Your doctor may advise you to stop taking Ziagen.

If you have stopped taking Ziagen

If you have stopped taking Ziagen because of a hypersensitivity reaction, you must NEVER AGAIN take Ziagen, or any other medicine containing abacavir (e.g. Trizivir, Triumeq or Kivexa). If you do, within hours, your blood pressure could fall dangerously low, which could result in death.

If you have stopped taking Ziagen for any reason - especially because you think you are having side effects, or because you have other illness:

Talk to your doctor before you start again. Your doctor will check whether your symptoms were related to a hypersensitivity reaction. If the doctor thinks they may have been, you will then be told never again to take Ziagen, or any other medicine containing abacavir (e.g. Trizivir, Triumeq or Kivexa). It is important that you follow this advice.

Occasionally, hypersensitivity reactions have developed in people who start taking abacavir containing products again, but who had only one symptom on the Alert Card before they stopped taking it.

Very rarely, patients who have taken medicines containing abacavir in the past without any symptoms of hypersensitivity have developed a hypersensitivity reaction when they start taking these medicines again.

If your doctor advises that you can start taking Ziagen again, you may be asked to take your first doses in a place where you will have ready access to medical care if you need it.

If you are hypersensitive to Ziagen, return all your unused Ziagen tablets for safe disposal. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

The Ziagen pack includes an Alert Card, to remind you and medical staff about hypersensitivity reactions. Detach this card and keep it with you at all times.

Common side effects

These may affect up to 1 in 10 people:

hypersensitivity reaction

feeling sick (nausea)

headache

being sick (vomiting)

diarrhoea

loss of appetite

tiredness, lack of energy

fever (high temperature)

skin rash

Rare side effects

These may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people:

inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)

Very rare side effects

These may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people:

skin rash, which may form blisters and looks like small targets (central dark spots surrounded by a paler area, with a dark ring around the edge) (erythema multiforme)

a widespread rash with blisters and peeling skin, particularly around the mouth, nose, eyes and genitals (Stevens–Johnson syndrome), and a more severe form causing skin peeling in more than 30% of the body surface (toxic epidermal necrolysis)

lactic acidosis (excess lactic acid in the blood)

If you notice any of these symptoms contact a doctor urgently.

If you get side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the side effects get severe or troublesome, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet.

Other possible side effects of combination therapy for HIV

Combination therapy including Ziagen may cause other conditions to develop during HIV treatment.

Symptoms of infection and inflammation

Old infections may flare up

People with advanced HIV infection (AIDS) have weak immune systems, and are more likely to develop serious infections (opportunistic infections). When these people start treatment, they may find that old, hidden infections flare up, causing signs and symptoms of inflammation. These symptoms are probably caused by the body’s immune system becoming stronger, so that the body starts to fight these infections. Symptoms usually include fever, plus some of the following:

headache

stomach ache

difficulty breathing

In rare cases, as the immune system becomes stronger, it can also attack healthy body tissue (autoimmune disorders). The symptoms of autoimmune disorders may develop many months after you start taking medicine to treat your HIV infection. Symptoms may include:

palpitations (rapid or irregular heartbeat) or tremor

hyperactivity (excessive restlessness and movement)

weakness beginning in the hands and feet and moving up towards the trunk of the body

If you get any symptoms of infection while you are taking Ziagen:

Tell your doctor immediately. Do not take other medicines for the infection without your doctor’s advice.

You may have problems with your bones

Some people taking combination therapy for HIV develop a condition called osteonecrosis. With this condition, parts of the bone tissue die because of reduced blood supply to the bone. People may be more likely to get this condition:

if they have been taking combination therapy for a long time

if they are also taking anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids

if they drink alcohol

if their immune systems are very weak

if they are overweight

Signs of osteonecrosis include:

stiffness in the joints

aches and pains (especially in the hip, knee or shoulder)

difficulty moving

If you notice any of these symptoms:

Tell your doctor.

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the national reporting system

listed in Appendix V. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

5.How to store Ziagen

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Do not take this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Do not store above 30 C.

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures help protect the environment.

6.Contents of the pack and other information

What Ziagen contains

The active substance in each Ziagen film-coated, scored tablet is 300 mg of abacavir (as sulfate).

The other ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose, sodium starch glycollate, magnesium stearate and colloidal anhydrous silica in the core of the tablet. The tablet coating contains triacetin, methylhydroxypropylcellulose, titanium dioxide, polysorbate 80 and iron oxide yellow.

What Ziagen looks like and contents of the pack

Ziagen film-coated tablets are engraved with ‘GX 623’ on both sides. The scored tablets are yellow and capsule-shaped and are provided in blister packs containing 60 tablets.

Marketing Authorisation Holder:

ViiV Healthcare UK Limited, 980 Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9GS, United Kingdom.

Manufacturer:

Glaxo Operations UK Ltd (trading as Glaxo Wellcome Operations), Priory Street, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG 12 0DJ, United Kingdom.

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals S.A., ul., Grunwaldzka 189, 60-322 Poznan, Poland.

For any information about this medicine, please contact the local representative of the Marketing Authorisation Holder.

België/Belgique/Belgien

Lietuva

ViiV Healthcare sprl/bvba

GlaxoSmithKline Lietuva UAB

Tél/Tel: + 32 (0) 10 85 65 00

Tel: + 370 5 264 90 00

 

info.lt@gsk.com

България

Luxembourg/Luxemburg

ГлаксоСмитКлайн ЕООД

ViiV Healthcare sprl/bvba

Teл.: + 359 2 953 10 34

Belgique/Belgien

 

Tél/Tel: + 32 (0) 10 85 65 00

Česká republika

Magyarország

GlaxoSmithKline s.r.o.

GlaxoSmithKline Kft.

Tel: + 420 222 001 111

Tel.: + 36 1 225 5300

cz.info@gsk.com

 

Danmark

Malta

GlaxoSmithKline Pharma A/S

GlaxoSmithKline Malta

Tlf: + 45 36 35 91 00

Tel: + 356 21 238131

dk-info@gsk.com

 

Deutschland

Nederland

ViiV Healthcare GmbH

ViiV Healthcare BV

Tel.: + 49 (0)89 203 0038-10

Tel: + 31 (0)30 6986060

viiv.med.info@viivhealthcare.com

contact-nl@viivhealthcare.com

Eesti

Norge

GlaxoSmithKline Eesti OÜ

GlaxoSmithKline AS

Tel: + 372 6676 900

Tlf: + 47 22 70 20 00

estonia@gsk.com

firmapost@gsk.no

Ελλάδα

Österreich

GlaxoSmithKline A.E.B.E.

GlaxoSmithKline Pharma GmbH

Τηλ: + 30 210 68 82 100

Tel: + 43 (0)1 97075 0

 

at.info@gsk.com

España

Polska

Laboratorios ViiV Healthcare, S.L.

GSK Services Sp. z o.o.

Tel: + 34 902 051 260

Tel.: + 48 (0)22 576 9000

es-ci@viivhealthcare.com

 

France

Portugal

ViiV Healthcare SAS

VIIV HEALTHCARE, UNIPESSOAL, LDA

Tél.: + 33 (0)1 39 17 6969

Tel: + 351 21 094 08 01

Infomed@viivhealthcare.com

FI.PT@gsk.com

Hrvatska

România

GlaxoSmithKline d.o.o.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) S.R.L.

Tel: + 385 1 6051 999

Tel: + 4021 3028 208

Ireland

Slovenija

GlaxoSmithKline (Ireland) Limited

GlaxoSmithKline d.o.o.

Tel: + 353 (0)1 4955000

Tel: + 386 (0)1 280 25 00

 

medical.x.si@gsk.com

Ísland

Slovenská republika

Vistor hf.

GlaxoSmithKline Slovakia s. r. o.

Sími: +354 535 7000

Tel: + 421 (0)2 48 26 11 11

 

recepcia.sk@gsk.com

Italia

Suomi/Finland

ViiV Healthcare S.r.l

GlaxoSmithKline Oy

Tel: + 39 (0)45 9212611

Puh/Tel: + 358 (0)10 30 30 30

 

Finland.tuoteinfo@gsk.com

Κύπρος

Sverige

GlaxoSmithKline (Cyprus) Ltd

GlaxoSmithKline AB

Τηλ: + 357 22 39 70 00

Tel: + 46 (0)8 638 93 00

gskcyprus@gsk.com

info.produkt@gsk.com

Latvija

GlaxoSmithKline Latvia SIA Tel: + 371 67312687 lv-epasts@gsk.com

United Kingdom

ViiV Healthcare UK Limited Tel: + 44 (0)800 221441 customercontactuk@gsk.com

Detailed information on this medicine is available on the European Medicines Agency web site: http://www.ema.europa.eu

Package leaflet: Information for the user

Ziagen 20 mg/ml oral solution

Abacavir

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.

-Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.

-If you have any further questions ask your doctor or pharmacist.

-This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.

-If you get any side effects talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

IMPORTANT - Hypersensitivity reactions

Ziagen contains abacavir (which is also an active substance in medicines such as Kivexa,Triumeq and Trizivir). Some people who take abacavir may develop a hypersensitivity reaction (a serious allergic reaction), which can be life-threatening if they continue to take abacavir. containing products.

You must carefully read all the information under ‘Hypersensitivity reactions’ in the panel in Section 4.

The Ziagen pack includes an Alert Card, to remind you and medical staff about abacavir hypersensitivity. Detach this card and keep it with you at all times.

What is in this leaflet

1.What Ziagen is and what it is used for

2.What you need to know before you take Ziagen

3.How to take Ziagen

4.Possible side effects

5.How to store Ziagen

6.Contents of the pack and other information

1. What Ziagen is and what it is used for

Ziagen is used to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection.

Ziagen contains the active ingredient abacavir. Abacavir belongs to a group of anti-retroviral medicines called nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).

Ziagen does not completely cure HIV infection; it reduces the amount of virus in your body, and keeps it at a low level. It also increases the CD4 cell count in your blood. CD4 cells are a type of white blood cell that are important in helping your body to fight infection.

Not everyone responds to treatment with Ziagen in the same way. Your doctor will monitor the effectiveness of your treatment.

2. What you need to know before you take Ziagen

Do not take Ziagen:

if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to abacavir (or any other medicine containing abacavir - such as Triumeq, Trizivir or Kivexa) or any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in Section 6)

Carefully read all the information about hypersensitivity reactions in Section 4.

Check with your doctor if you think this applies to you.

Take special care with Ziagen

Some people taking Ziagen for HIV are more at risk of serious side effects. You need to be aware of the extra risks:

if you have moderate or severe liver disease

if you have ever had liver disease, including hepatitis B or C

if you are seriously overweight (especially if you are a woman)

if you have severe kidney disease

Talk to your doctor if any of these apply to you. You may need extra check-ups, including blood tests, while you are taking your medicine. See Section 4 for more information.

Abacavir hypersensitivity reactions

Even patients who don’t have the HLA-B*5701 gene may still develop a hypersensitivity reaction (a serious allergic reaction).

Carefully read all the information about hypersensitivity reactions in Section 4 of this leaflet.

Risk of heart attack

It cannot be excluded that abacavir may increase the risk of having a heart attack.

Tell your doctor if you have heart problems, if you smoke, or have other illnesses that may increase your risk of heart disease such as high blood pressure, or diabetes. Do not stop taking Ziagen unless your doctor advises you to do so.

Look out for important symptoms

Some people taking medicines for HIV infection develop other conditions, which can be serious. You need to know about important signs and symptoms to look out for while you are taking Ziagen.

Read the information ‘Other possible side effects of combination therapy for HIV’ in Section 4 of this leaflet.

Protect other people

HIV infection is spread by sexual contact with someone who has the infection, or by transfer of infected blood (for example, by sharing injection needles). You can still pass on HIV when taking this medicine, although the risk is lowered by effective antiretroviral therapy. Discuss with your doctor the precautions needed to avoid infecting other people.

Other medicines and Ziagen

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, or if you have taken any recently, including herbal medicines or other medicines you bought without a prescription. Remember to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you begin taking a new medicine while you are taking Ziagen.

Some medicines interact with Ziagen

These include:

phenytoin, for treating epilepsy.

Tell your doctor if you are taking phenytoin. Your doctor may need to monitor you while you are taking Ziagen.

methadone used as a heroin substitute. Abacavir increases the rate at which methadone is removed from the body. If you are taking methadone, you will be checked for any withdrawal symptoms. Your methadone dose may need to be changed.

Tell your doctor if you are taking methadone.

Pregnancy

Ziagen is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Ziagen and similar medicines may cause side effects in unborn babies. If you have taken Ziagen during your pregnancy, your doctor may request regular blood tests and other diagnostic tests to monitor the development of your child. In children whose mothers took NRTIs during pregnancy, the benefit from the protection against HIV outweighed the risk of side effects.

Breast-feeding

Women who are HIV-positive must not breast-feed, because HIV infection can be passed on to the baby in breast milk. A small amount of the ingredients in Ziagen can also pass into your breast milk.

If you are breast-feeding, or thinking about breast-feeding:

Talk to your doctor immediately.

Driving and using machines

Do not drive or operate machines unless you are feeling well.

Important information about some of the other ingredients of Ziagen oral solution

This medicine contains the sweetener sorbitol (approximately 5g in each 15 ml dose), which may have a mild laxative effect. Do not take medicines containing sorbitol if you have hereditary fructose intolerance. The calorific value of sorbitol is 2.6 kcal/g.

Ziagen also contains preservatives (parahydroxybenzoates) which may cause allergic reactions (possibly delayed).

3. How to take Ziagen

Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. Ziagen can be taken with or without food.

Stay in regular contact with your doctor

Ziagen helps to control your condition. You need to keep taking it every day to stop your illness getting worse. You may still develop other infections and illnesses linked to HIV infection.

Keep in touch with your doctor, and do not stop taking Ziagen without your doctor’s advice.

How much to take

Adults, adolescents and children weighing at least 25 kg

The usual dose of Ziagen is 600 mg (30 ml) a day. This can be taken either as 300 mg (15 ml) twice a day or 600 mg (30 ml) once a day.

Children from 3 months of age weighing less than 25 kg

The dose depends on the child’s body weight. The recommended dose is 8 mg/kg twice a day or 16 mg/kg once a day, up to a maximum total daily dose of 600 mg daily.

How to measure the dose and take the medicine

Use the oral dosing syringe supplied with the pack to measure your dose accurately. When full, the syringe contains 10 ml of solution.

1.Remove the bottle cap. Keep it safely.

2.Hold the bottle firmly. Push the plastic adapter into the neck of the bottle

3.Insert the syringe firmly into the adapter

4.Turn bottle upside down

5.Pull out the syringe plunger until the syringe contains the first part of your full dose

6.Turn the bottle the right way up. Remove the syringe from the adapter

7.Put the syringe into your mouth, placing the tip of the syringe against the inside of your cheek. Slowly push the plunger in, allowing time to swallow. Don’t push too hard and squirt the liquid into the back of your throat, or you may choke

8.Repeat steps 3 to 7 in the same way until you have taken your whole dose. For example, if your dose is 30 ml, you need to take 3 syringe-fulls of medicine

9.Take the syringe out of the bottle and wash it thoroughly in clean water. Let it dry completely before you use it again

10.Close the bottle tightly with the cap, leaving the adapter in place

If you take more Ziagen than you should

If you accidentally take too much Ziagen, tell your doctor or your pharmacist, or contact your nearest hospital emergency department for further advice.

If you forget to take Ziagen

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then continue your treatment as before. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

It is important to take Ziagen regularly, because if you take it at irregular intervals, you may be more likely to have a hypersensitivity reaction.

If you have stopped taking Ziagen

If you have stopped taking Ziagen for any reason - especially because you think you are having side effects, or because you have other illness:

Talk to your doctor before you start taking it again. Your doctor will check whether your symptoms were related to a hypersensitivity reaction. If the doctor thinks they may have been related, you will be told never again to take Ziagen, or any other medicine containing abacavir (e.g.Triumeq, Trizivir or Kivexa). It is important that you follow this advice.

If your doctor advises that you can start taking Ziagen again, you may be asked to take your first doses in a place where you will have ready access to medical care if you need it.

4. Possible side effects

During HIV therapy there may be an increase in weight and in levels of blood lipids and glucose. This is partly linked to restored health and life style, and in the case of blood lipids sometimes to the HIV medicines themselves. Your doctor will test for these changes.

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.

When you are being treated for HIV, it can be hard to tell whether a symptom is a side effect of Ziagen or other medicines you are taking, or an effect of the HIV disease itself. So it is very important to talk to your doctor about any changes in your health.

Even patients who don’t have the HLA-B*5701 gene may still develop a hypersensitivity reaction (a serious allergic reaction), described in this leaflet in the panel headed ‘Hypersensitivity reactions’.

It is very important that you read and understand the information about this serious reaction.

As well as the side effects listed below for Ziagen, other conditions can develop during combination therapy for HIV.

It is important to read the information later in this section under ‘Other possible side effects of combination therapy for HIV’.

Hypersensitivity reactions

Ziagen contains abacavir (which is also an active substance in Kivexa, Triumeq and Trizivir). Abacavir can cause a serious allergic reaction known as a hypersensitivity reaction.

These hypersensitivity reactions have been seen more frequently in people taking medicines that contain abacavir.

Who gets these reactions?

Anyone taking Ziagen could develop a hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir, which could be life threatening if they continue to take Ziagen.

You are more likely to develop such a reaction if you have the HLA-B*5701 gene (but you can get a reaction even if you do not have this gene). You should have been tested for this gene before Ziagen was prescribed for you. If you know you have this gene, tell your doctor before you take Ziagen.

About 3 to 4 in every 100 patients treated with abacavir in a clinical trial who did not have the HLA- B*5701 gene developed a hypersensitivity reaction.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms are:

fever (high temperature) and skin rash Other common symptoms are:

nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick), diarrhoea, abdominal (stomach) pain, severe tiredness

Other symptoms include:

Pains in the joints or muscles, swelling of the neck, shortness of breath, sore throat, cough, occasional headaches, inflammation of the eye (conjunctivitis), mouth ulcers, low blood pressure, tingling or numbness of the hands or feet.

When do these reactions happen?

Hypersensitivity reactions can start at any time during treatment with Ziagen, but are more likely during the first 6 weeks of treatment.

If you are caring for a child who is being treated with Ziagen, it is important that you understand the information about this hypersensitivity reaction. If your child gets the symptoms described below it is essential that you follow the instructions given.

Contact your doctor immediately:

1if you get a skin rash, OR

2if you get symptoms from at least 2 of the following groups:

-fever

-shortness of breath, sore throat or cough

-nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain

-severe tiredness or achiness, or generally feeling ill

Your doctor may advise you to stop taking Ziagen.

If you have stopped taking Ziagen

If you have stopped taking Ziagen because of a hypersensitivity reaction, you must NEVER AGAIN take Ziagen, or any other medicine containing abacavir (e.g. Trizivir, Triumeq or Kivexa). If you do, within hours, your blood pressure could fall dangerously low, which could result in death.

If you have stopped taking Ziagen for any reason - especially because you think you are having side effects, or because you have other illness:

Talk to your doctor before you start again. Your doctor will check whether your symptoms were related to a hypersensitivity reaction. If the doctor thinks they may have been, you will then be told never again to take Ziagen, or any other medicine containing abacavir (e.g. Trizivir , Triumeq or Kivexa). It is important that you follow this advice.

Occasionally, hypersensitivity reactions have developed in people who start taking abacavir containing products again, but who had only one symptom on the Alert Card before they stopped taking it.

Very rarely, patients who have taken medicines containing abacavir in the past without any symptoms of hypersensitivity have developed a hypersensitivity reaction when they start taking these medicines again.

If your doctor advises that you can start taking Ziagen again, you may be asked to take your first doses in a place where you will have ready access to medical care if you need it.

If you are hypersensitive to Ziagen, return all your unused Ziagen oral solution for safe disposal.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

The Ziagen pack includes an Alert Card, to remind you and medical staff about hypersensitivity reactions. Detach this card and keep it with you at all times.

Common side effects

These may affect up to 1 in 10 people:

hypersensitivity reaction

feeling sick (nausea)

headache

being sick (vomiting)

diarrhoea

loss of appetite

tiredness, lack of energy

fever (high temperature)

skin rash

Rare side effects

These may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people:

inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)

Very rare side effects

These may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people:

skin rash, which may form blisters and looks like small targets (central dark spots surrounded by a paler area, with a dark ring around the edge) (erythema multiforme)

a widespread rash with blisters and peeling skin, particularly around the mouth, nose, eyes and genitals (Stevens–Johnson syndrome), and a more severe form causing skin peeling in more than 30% of the body surface (toxic epidermal necrolysis).

lactic acidosis (excess lactic acid in the blood)

If you notice any of these symptoms contact a doctor urgently.

If you get side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the side effects gets severe or troublesome, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet.

Other possible side effects of combination therapy for HIV

Combination therapy including Ziagen may cause other conditions to develop during HIV treatment.

Symptoms of infection and inflammation Old infections may flare up

People with advanced HIV infection (AIDS) have weak immune systems, and are more likely to develop serious infections (opportunistic infections). When these people start treatment, they may find that old, hidden infections flare up, causing signs and symptoms of inflammation. These symptoms are probably caused by the body’s immune system becoming stronger, so that the body starts to fight these infections. Symptoms usually include fever, plus some of the following:

headache

stomach ache

difficulty breathing

In rare cases, as the immune system becomes stronger, it can also attack healthy body tissue (autoimmune disorders). The symptoms of autoimmune disorders may develop many months after you start taking medicine to treat your HIV infection. Symptoms may include:

palpitations (rapid or irregular heartbeat) or tremor

hyperactivity (excessive restlessness and movement)

weakness beginning in the hands and feet and moving up towards the trunk of the body

If you get any symptoms of infection while you are taking Ziagen:

Tell your doctor immediately. Do not take other medicines for the infection without your doctor’s advice.

You may have problems with your bones

Some people taking combination therapy for HIV develop a condition called osteonecrosis. With this condition, parts of the bone tissue die because of reduced blood supply to the bone. People may be more likely to get this condition:

if they have been taking combination therapy for a long time

if they are also taking anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids

if they drink alcohol

if their immune systems are very weak

if they are overweight

Signs of osteonecrosis include:

stiffness in the joints

aches and pains (especially in the hip, knee or shoulder)

difficulty moving

If you notice any of these symptoms:

Tell your doctor.

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the national reporting system listed in Appendix V. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

5. How to store Ziagen

Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children.

Do not take this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Do not store above 30 C.

Discard oral solution two months after first opening.

Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures protect the environment.

6. Contents of the pack and other information

What Ziagen contains

The active substance in Ziagen oral solution is 20 mg of abacavir (as sulfate) in each ml of the solution.

The other ingredients are sorbitol 70% (E420), saccharin sodium, sodium citrate, citric acid anhydrous, methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218), propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216), propylene glycol (E1520), maltodextrin, lactic acid, glyceryl triacetate, natural and artificial strawberry and banana flavour, purified water, sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid for pH adjustment.

What Ziagen looks like and contents of the pack

Ziagen oral solution is clear to yellowish in colour with strawberry/banana flavouring. It is supplied in cartons containing a white polyethylene bottle, with a child resistant cap. The bottle contains 240 ml (20 mg abacavir/ml) of solution. A 10 ml oral dosing syringe and a plastic adapter for the bottle are included in the pack.

Marketing Authorisation Holder: ViiV Healthcare UK Limited, 980 Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9GS, United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Aspen Bad Oldesloe GmbH, Industriestrasse 32-36, 23843 Bad Oldesloe, Germany or Glaxo Operations UK Ltd, (trading as GlaxoWellcome Operations) Harmire Road Barnard Castle Co. Durham DL12 8DT United Kingdom

For any information about this medicine, please contact the local representative of the Marketing Authorisation Holder.

België/Belgique/Belgien

Lietuva

ViiV Healthcare sprl/bvba

GlaxoSmithKline Lietuva UAB

Tél/Tel: + 32 (0) 10 85 65 00

Tel: + 370 5 264 90 00

 

info.lt@gsk.com

България

Luxembourg/Luxemburg

ГлаксоСмитКлайн ЕООД

ViiV Healthcare sprl/bvba

Teл.: + 359 2 953 10 34

Belgique/Belgien

 

Tél/Tel: + 32 (0) 10 85 65 00

Česká republika

Magyarország

GlaxoSmithKline s.r.o.

GlaxoSmithKline Kft.

Tel: + 420 222 001 111

Tel.: + 36 1 225 5300

cz.info@gsk.com

 

Danmark

Malta

GlaxoSmithKline Pharma A/S

GlaxoSmithKline Malta

Tlf: + 45 36 35 91 00

Tel: + 356 21 238131

dk-info@gsk.com

 

Deutschland

Nederland

ViiV Healthcare GmbH

ViiV Healthcare BV

Tel.: + 49 (0)89 203 0038-10

Tel: + 31 (0)30 6986060

viiv.med.info@viivhealthcare.com

contact-nl@viivhealthcare.com

Eesti

Norge

GlaxoSmithKline Eesti OÜ

GlaxoSmithKline AS

Tel: + 372 6676 900

Tlf: + 47 22 70 20 00

estonia@gsk.com

firmapost@gsk.no

Ελλάδα

Österreich

GlaxoSmithKline A.E.B.E.

GlaxoSmithKline Pharma GmbH

Τηλ: + 30 210 68 82 100

Tel: + 43 (0)1 97075 0

 

at.info@gsk.com

España

Polska

Laboratorios ViiV Healthcare, S.L.

GSK Services Sp. z o.o.

Tel: + 34 902 051 260

Tel.: + 48 (0)22 576 9000

es-ci@viivhealthcare.com

 

France

Portugal

ViiV Healthcare SAS

VIIV HEALTHCARE, UNIPESSOAL, LDA

Tél.: + 33 (0)1 39 17 6969

Tel: + 351 21 094 08 01

Infomed@viivhealthcare.com

FI.PT@gsk.com

Hrvatska

România

GlaxoSmithKline d.o.o.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) S.R.L.

Tel: + 385 1 6051 999

Tel: + 4021 3028 208

Ireland

Slovenija

GlaxoSmithKline (Ireland) Limited

GlaxoSmithKline d.o.o.

Tel: + 353 (0)1 4955000

Tel: + 386 (0)1 280 25 00

 

medical.x.si@gsk.com

Ísland

Slovenská republika

Vistor hf.

GlaxoSmithKline Slovakia s. r. o.

Sími: +354 535 7000

Tel: + 421 (0)2 48 26 11 11

 

recepcia.sk@gsk.com

Italia

Suomi/Finland

ViiV Healthcare S.r.l

GlaxoSmithKline Oy

Tel: + 39 (0)45 9212611

Puh/Tel: + 358 (0)10 30 30 30

 

Finland.tuoteinfo@gsk.com

Κύπρος

Sverige

GlaxoSmithKline (Cyprus) Ltd

GlaxoSmithKline AB

Τηλ: + 357 22 39 70 00

Tel: + 46 (0)8 638 93 00

gskcyprus@gsk.com

info.produkt@gsk.com

Latvija

United Kingdom

GlaxoSmithKline Latvia SIA

ViiV Healthcare UK Limited

Tel: + 371 67312687

Tel: + 44 (0)800 221441

lv-epasts@gsk.com

customercontactuk@gsk.com

Detailed information on this medicine is available on the European Medicines Agency web site: http://www.ema.europa.eu

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