Generic Name: didanosine

Pronunciation: VY-dex-EE-SEE

Abbreviation: ddl

Other Market Name: N/A

Drug Class: Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)

Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: Yes

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

Not part of a recommended or alternative treatment regimen for antiretroviral-naive people living with HIV, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Visit for the full DHHS guidelines.

General Info

Videx EC is an HIV medication. It is in a category of HIV medicines called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Videx was the second drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by people living with HIV in 1991. Videx EC capsules were approved by the FDA in 2000.

Videx EC must be used in combination with other HIV drugs.


Adult Dose: One 400mg capsule once a day. For patients weighing less than 133 lbs. (60 kg), the dose is one 250mg capsule once a day. A powdered version of Videx, for mixing into an oral solution, is also available.

Pediatric Dose: Age 6 to 18 years: dosing based on body weight and should not exceed adult daily dose.

Dosing Info: Take on an empty stomach (2 hours after or 1 hour before a meal). Videx EC should be taken with water. It should not be taken with acidic juices, soda, or milk. Videx EC should be taken at least two hours after or two hours before Aptivus (tipranavir) and Reyataz (atazanavir). Avoid alcohol.

Side Effects

Lactic acidosis, which can be fatal, and severe liver problems have been reported in people taking Videx, particularly when combined with Zerit. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience nausea, vomiting, or unusual or unexpected stomach discomfort; weakness or tiredness; shortness of breath; weakness in the arms and legs; yellowing of the skin or eyes; or pain in the upper stomach area.

Videx EC can cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Pancreatitis is a rare but serious side effect that can be life-threatening in some cases. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of pancreatitis, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. You should avoid alcohol while you are taking Videx EC, as alcohol can increase the risk of damage to your pancreas.

Videx EC is associated with a rare but potentially serious liver disorder called non-cirrhotic portal hypertension. Patients using Videx EC should be monitored for early signs of portal hypertension during routine medical visits.

A common side effect of Videx EC is peripheral neuropathy, which can result in pain, tingling, numbness, or burning in the hands and/or feet.

Other common side effects include stomach aches, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and central nervous system effects (e.g., anxiety, headaches, trouble sleeping, irritability, and restlessness).

Damage to the eyes is another serious side effect that can be caused by Videx EC. This is more likely to occur in HIV-positive children taking Videx powder or Videx EC.

HIV drug regimens containing NRTIs, including Videx EC, may cause abnormal body-shape changes (liopatrophy; decreased fat in the face, arms, and legs)

Drug Interactions

For a review of drug interactions, including prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements that should not be taken with Videx or may require dose adjustments, consult the Videx EC package insert:

Other Info

Due to Videx EC’s unfavorable safety profile and the advent of regimen components with better safety and tolerability profiles, Videx EC is generally not recommended for the treatment of HIV.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or liver disease. In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, and all your medical conditions, including all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you are taking.

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Last Reviewed: July 15, 2016