Abacavir Oral solution

Abacavir Oral solution

Abacavir Oral solution

Abacavir Sulfate, USP: The chemical name of abacavir sulfate, USP is (1 S,cis)-4-[2-amino-6-(cyclopropylamino)-9 H-purin-9- yl]-2-cyclopentene-1-methanol sulfate (salt) (2:1). Abacavir sulfate, USP is the enantiomer with 1S, 4R absolute configuration on the cyclopentene ring. It has a molecular formula of (C14H18N6O)2 •H2SO4 and molecular weight of 670.74 g per mol.

Abacavir sulfate, USP is a white to off-white powder. Soluble in water, slightly soluble in methanol. It has an octanol per water (pH 3.3) partition coefficient (log P) of approximately 1.0 by UV-spectrometry at 25°C.

Abacavir oral solution, USP is for oral administration. Each milliliter (1 mL) of abacavir oral solution, USP contains abacavir sulfate USP equivalent to 20 mg of abacavir (i.e., 20 mg per mL) as active ingredient and the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous citric acid, methylparaben and propylparaben (added as preservatives), propylene glycol, saccharin sodium, sodium citrate (dihydrate), noncrystallizing sorbitol solution, strawberry and banana flavors and water.

In vivo, abacavir sulfate dissociates to its free base, abacavir. Dosages are expressed in terms of abacavir.

Indications and usage

Abacavir oral solution in combination with other antiretroviral agents, is indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection.


Abacavir is a carbocyclic synthetic nucleoside analogue. Abacavir is converted by cellular enzymes to the active metabolite, carbovir triphosphate (CBV-TP), an analogue of deoxyguanosine-5′-triphosphate (dGTP). CBV-TP inhibits the activity of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) both by competing with the natural substrate dGTP and by its incorporation into viral DNA.

Dosage and administrtaion

  • Screen for the HLA-B*5701 allele prior to initiating therapy with abacavir

The recommended dosage of abacavir for adults is 600 mg daily, administered orally as either 300 mg twice daily or 600 mg once daily, in combination with other antiretroviral agents.

Recommended Dosage for Pediatric

The recommended dosage of abacavir oral solution in HIV-1-infected pediatric patients aged 3 months and older is 8 mg per kg orally twice daily or 16 mg per kg orally once-daily (up to a maximum of 600 mg daily) in combination with other antiretroviral agents.

Abacavir is also available as a scored tablet for HIV-1-infected pediatric patients weighing greater than or equal to 14 kg for whom a solid dosage form is appropriate. Before prescribing abacavir tablets, children should be assessed for the ability to swallow tablets. If a child is unable to reliably swallow abacavir tablets, the oral solution formulation should be prescribed.

Recommended Dosage for Patients with Hepatic Impairment

The recommended dose of abacavir in patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A) is 200 mg twice daily. To enable dose reduction, abacavir oral solution (10 mL twice daily) should be used for the treatment of these patients. The safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetic properties of abacavir have not been established in patients with moderate to severe hepatic impairment; therefore, abacavir is contraindicated in these patients.


Abacavir oral solution is contraindicated in patients:

  • who have the HLA-B*5701 allele.
  • with prior hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir.
  • with moderate or severe hepatic impairment

Warnings and precautions

Hypersensitivity Reactions

Serious and sometimes fatal hypersensitivity reactions have occurred with abacavir. These hypersensitivity reactions have included multi-organ failure and anaphylaxis and typically occurred within the first 6 weeks of treatment with abacavir (median time to onset was 9 days); although abacavir hypersensitivity reactions have occurred any time during treatment. Patients who carry the HLA-B*5701 allele are at a higher risk of abacavir hypersensitivity reactions; although, patients who do not carry the HLA-B*5701 allele have developed hypersensitivity reactions.

Lactic Acidosis and Severe Hepatomegaly with Steatosis

Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues and other antiretrovirals. A majority of these cases have been in women. Obesity and prolonged nucleoside exposure may be risk factors. Caution should be exercised when administering abacavir to any patient with known risk factors for liver disease; however, cases have also been reported in patients with no known risk factors.

Immune Reconstitution Syndrome:

Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including abacavir. 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. Autoimmune disorders (such as Graves’ disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) have also been reported to occur in the setting of immune reconstitution; however, the time to onset is more variable and can occur many months after initiation of treatment.

Fat Redistribution

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.

Myocardial Infarction

In a published prospective, observational, epidemiological trail designed to investigate the rate of myocardial infarction (MI) in patients on combination antiretroviral therapy, the use of abacavir within the previous 6 months was correlated with an increased risk of MI. In a sponsor-conducted pooled analysis of clinical trials, no excess risk of MI was observed in abacavir-treated subjects as compared with control subjects. In totality, the available data from the observational cohort and from clinical trials are inconclusive.

Adverse reactions

  • The most commonly reported adverse reactions of at least moderate intensity (incidence greater than or equal to 10%) in adult HIV-1 clinical trials were nausea, headache, malaise and fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and dreams/sleep disorders.
  • The most commonly reported adverse reactions of at least moderate intensity (incidence greater than or equal to 5%) in pediatric HIV-1 clinical trials were fever and/or chills, nausea and vomiting, skin rashes, and ear/nose/throat infections.

Drug interactions

Methadone: In a trial of 11 HIV-1-infected subjects receiving methadone-maintenance therapy with 600 mg of abacavir twice daily (twice the currently recommended dose), oral methadone clearance increased. This alteration will not result in a methadone dose modification in the majority of patients; however, an increased methadone dose may be required in a small number of patients.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: Abacavir has been shown to cross the placenta and concentrations in neonatal plasma at birth were essentially equal to those in maternal plasma at delivery

Lactation: 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. Abacavir is present in human milk. There is no information on the effects of abacavir on the breastfed infant or the effects of the drug on milk production. Because of the potential for (1) HIV-1 transmission (in HIV-negative infants), (2) developing viral resistance (in HIV-positive infants), and (3) serious adverse reactions in a breastfed infant, instruct mothers not to breastfeed if they are receiving abacavir.

Pediatric Use: The safety and effectiveness of abacavir have been established in pediatric patients aged 3 months and older. Use of abacavir is supported by pharmacokinetic trials and evidence from adequate and wellcontrolled trials of abacavir in adults and pediatric subjects.

Geriatric Use: Clinical trials of abacavir did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. In general, caution should be exercised in the administration of abacavir in elderly patient reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

Patients with Impaired Hepatic Function: A dose reduction is required for patients with mild hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A). The safety, efficacy, and pharmacokinetic properties of abacavir have not been established in patients with moderate or severe hepatic impairment; therefore, abacavir is contraindicated in these patients.


There is no known specific treatment for overdose with abacavir. If overdose occurs, the patient should be monitored and standard supportive treatment applied as required. It is not known whether abacavir can be removed by peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis.

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