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Drug Dosing Toolkit: Zerit

for Veterans and the Public

stavudine, d4T (Zerit)

Type of Drug: Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor

Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were the first type of drug available to treat HIV. They are also known as NRTIs, nucleoside analogues, or "nukes."

When the HIV virus enters a healthy cell, it attempts to make copies of itself. It does this by using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. NRTIs block that enzyme, so HIV cannot make new copies of itself.

Bring a printout of this page to discuss with your doctor during your next visit. List your questions at the bottom of the page.

Approved adult dosing

one 40 mg capsule Zerit two times a day

  • Morning
    Zerit 40

    Zerit 40 mg

  • Evening
    Zerit 40

    Zerit 40 mg

Under 133 pounds:

one 30 mg capsule Zerit two times a day

  • Morning
    Zerit 30

    Zerit 30 mg

  • Evening
    Zerit 30

    Zerit 30 mg

Note: Generic formulations are available; these generic pills may have different shapes and colors than the ones shown above.

Notes on taking this medication

  • Zerit is no longer recommended for treatment of HIV; if you are taking Zerit, please talk with your clinician about changing to a different medication
  • No food restrictions, can take with or without food
  • Persons with kidney problems may need to adjust the doses of Zerit
  • Do not take Zerit with AZT (Retrovir), Combivir, Trizivir, or Videx EC

Possible side effects

  • Pain or tingling in feet or hands (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Nausea; vomiting; abdominal pain; headache; rash
  • Pancreatitis
  • Changes in body fat distribution, especially fat loss; may be severe
  • Abnormalities in cholesterol levels
  • Rare but serious: increase of lactic acid in the blood

See accompanying chart: Tips for Common Side Effects


Disclaimer: This information is not meant to substitute for advice from your medical provider or pharmacist. If you have any questions about your medication dosing, talk to your medical provider or pharmacist.