ZIAGEN- abacavir sulfate tablet

ZIAGEN- abacavir sulfate tablet

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ZIAGEN- abacavir sulfate tablet

ZIAGEN is the brand name for abacavir sulfate, a synthetic carbocyclic nucleoside analogue with inhibitory activity against HIV-1. The chemical name of abacavir sulfate is (1S,cis)-4-[2-amino-6-(cyclopropylamino)-9H-purin-9-yl]-2-cyclopentene-1-methanol sulfate (salt) (2:1). Abacavir sulfate is the enantiomer with 1S, 4R absolute configuration on the cyclopentene ring. It has a molecular formula of (C14H18N6O)2 •H2SO4 and a molecular weight of 670.76 g per mol.

Abacavir sulfate is a white to off-white solid and is soluble in water.

ZIAGEN tablets are for oral administration. Each tablet contains abacavir sulfate equivalent to 300 mg of abacavir as active ingredient and the following inactive ingredients: colloidal silicon dioxide, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and sodium starch glycolate. The tablets are coated with a film that is made of hypromellose, polysorbate 80, synthetic yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and triacetin.

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

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

Indications and usage

ZIAGEN, a nucleoside analogue human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase inhibitor, is indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

Mechanism of action

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 administration

  • Before initiating ZIAGEN, screen for the HLA-B*5701 allele.
  • Adults: 600 mg daily, administered as either 300 mg twice daily or 600 mg once daily.
  • Pediatric Patients Aged 3 Months and Older: Administered either once or twice daily. Dose should be calculated on body weight (kg) and should not exceed 600 mg daily.
  • Patients with Hepatic Impairment: Mild hepatic impairment – 200 mg twice daily.


  • Presence of HLA-B*5701 allele.
  • Prior hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir.
  • Moderate or severe hepatic impairment.

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.

Warnings and precautions

Hypersensitivity Reactions: Serious and sometimes fatal hypersensitivity reactions have occurred with ZIAGEN (abacavir). These hypersensitivity reactions have included multi-organ failure and anaphylaxis and typically occurred within the first 6 weeks of treatment with ZIAGEN (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. Hypersensitivity to abacavir was reported in approximately 206 (8%) of 2,670 patients in 9 clinical trials with abacavir-containing products where HLA-B*5701 screening was not performed. The incidence of suspected abacavir hypersensitivity reactions in clinical trials was 1% when subjects carrying the HLA-B*5701 allele were excluded. In any patient treated with abacavir, the clinical diagnosis of hypersensitivity reaction must remain the basis of clinical decision making.

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, including ZIAGEN. A majority of these cases have been in women. Female sex and obesity may be risk factors for the development of lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis in patients treated with antiretroviral nucleoside analogues. Treatment with ZIAGEN 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.

Immune Reconstitution Syndrome: Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including ZIAGEN. 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.

Myocardial Infarction: Several prospective, observational, epidemiological studies have reported an association with the use of abacavir and the risk of myocardial infarction (MI). Meta-analyses of randomized, controlled, clinical trials have observed no excess risk of MI in abacavirtreated subjects as compared with control subjects. To date, there is no established biological mechanism to explain a potential increase in risk. In totality, the available data from the observational studies and from controlled clinical trials show inconsistency; therefore, evidence for a causal relationship between abacavir treatment and the risk of MI is inconclusive.

As a precaution, the underlying risk of coronary heart disease should be considered when prescribing antiretroviral therapies, including abacavir, and action taken to minimize all modifiable risk factors (e.g., hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, smoking).

Drug interactions

Methadone: In a trial of 11 HIV-1–infected subjects receiving methadone-maintenance therapy with 600 mg of ZIAGEN 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.

Riociguat: Coadministration with fixed-dose abacavir/dolutegravir/lamivudine resulted in increased riociguat exposure, which may increase the risk of riociguat adverse reactions. The riociguat dose may need to be reduced. See full prescribing information for ADEMPAS (riociguat).

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: Available data from the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry (APR) show no difference in the overall risk of birth defects for abacavir compared with the background rate for birth defects of 2.7% in the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP) reference population. The APR uses the MACDP as the U.S. reference population for birth defects in the general population. The MACDP evaluates women and infants from a limited geographic area and does not include outcomes for births that occurred at less than 20 weeks’ gestation. The rate of miscarriage is not reported in the APR. The estimated background rate of miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies in the U.S. general population is 15% to 20%. The background risk for major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown.

Lactation: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 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

  • HIV-1 transmission (in HIV-negative infants),
  • developing viral resistance (in HIV-positive infants), and
  • adverse reactions in a breastfed infant, instruct mothers not to breastfeed if they are receiving ZIAGEN.

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

Geriatric Use: Clinical trials of ZIAGEN 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 ZIAGEN in elderly patients 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, ZIAGEN is contraindicated in these patients.


There is no known specific treatment for overdose with ZIAGEN. 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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