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Didanosine Enteric Coated (EC)
Other Names: Didanosine EC, Videx® EC
What is it?
Didanosine EC is an antiretroviral drug, specifically a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. It is used to treat HIV, a retrovirus. Retroviruses use the genetic material in the body’s cells to produce more virus which can infect other cells.
How does it work?
Didanosine EC interferes with the life cycle of HIV to stop it from producing more virus. Specifically, didanosine EC ties up the reverse transcriptase enzyme so it cannot build the genetic material needed to make more virus and infect more cells.
How do I take it?
It is extremely important that you take didanosine EC and your other antiretroviral medications exactly a s directed. You should set up a system that will help you remember to take your medicines so that you do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible; however, if you skip a dose, do not take two doses at once. Do not stop taking the medication for any reason at any time unless you are directed to do so by your study clinician. If you are unable to continue taking your medication due to side effects, you should contact your study clinician immediately.
Some drugs taken together may have interactions that cause illness or impair the effectiveness of the drugs. It is a good idea to always check with your study clinician before taking any other medications, prescription or otherwise, to be sure it will not interact with didanosine EC.
When taking didanosine with tenofovir (Viread®), please talk with your provider or pharmacist about how to avoid side effects. Tenofovir significantly increases the amount of didanosine in your blood stream. This may lead to a greater risk that side effects will develop.
It is possible that taking didanosine EC with other medicines that have a potential to cause peripheral neuropathy (tingling or numbing sensations in the hands and/or feet) may increase your risk of developing neuropathy.
Not everyone experiences side effects. When they do occur, they may be mild, moderate or severe. Some side effects cannot be felt by the patient but can be found through laboratory tests, so it is important to see your study clinician regularly for checkups so that side effects can be detected early and treated.
The most common side effects of didanosine EC are peripheral neuropathy (tingling or numbing sensations in the hands and/or feet), inflammation of the pancreas (which may cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain), altered taste, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and inflammation of the liver. If you begin having any of these side effects, please contact your study clinician.
Excessive consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of developing pancreatitis.
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