Zerit is the name brand for the drug stavudine produced by
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. It is a synthetis thymidine
nucleoside analogue active against HIV. Zerit is available in
capsules and oral solution.
Stavudine is phosphorylated in the body and inhibits HIC
replication by competing with a reverse transcriptase substrate
and by casuing DNA chain termination. Stavudine can also inhibit
DNA polymerase beta and gamma, reduing mitochondrial DNA
Zerit is indicated for HIV infected patients who have
received long prior treatment with zidovudine.
Interval between doses should be 12 hours. For adults, it should be
administered as follows: 40 mg twice daily for patients at least 60 kg and
30 mg twice daily for patients less than 60 kg. For pediatric patients
weighing less than 30 kg, dosages should be scaled to 1 mg/kg/dose.
Pediatric patients weighing more than 30 kg should follow adult
recommendations for dosage.
Patients should be warned that they may continue to
develop complications associated with HIV infection. Zerit is not a
cure for HIV. Patients with more advanced HIV infection and who have had
histories of lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, or
peripheral neuropathy are at higher risk of developing complications.
Zerit is contraindicated for any patients with a known
hypersensitivity to components of the drug.
Potential Adverse Effects
The most common toxic side effect is peripheral neuropathy.