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Zidovudine may decrease the number certain cells in your blood, including red blood cells and white blood cells. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: unusual bleeding or bruising, fever, chills, or other symptoms of infection, unusual tiredness or weakness, or pale skin.
Zidovudine also may cause life-threatening damage to the liver and a potentially life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis (buildup of lactic acid in the blood). The risk that you will develop lactic acidosis is higher if you are a woman, if you are overweight, and if you have been treated with medications for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for a long time. Tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol or if you have or have ever had liver disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: nausea, vomiting, pain in the upper right part of your stomach, loss of appetite, extreme tiredness, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fast or irregular heartbeat, trouble breathing, dark yellow or brown urine, light-colored bowel movements, yellowing of the skin or eyes, feeling cold, especially in the arms or legs, or muscle pain that is different than any muscle pain you usually experience.
Zidovudine may cause muscle disease, especially when taken for a longer period of time. Call your doctor if you have tiredness, muscle pain, or weakness.
It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to zidovudine.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking zidovudine.