Generic Name: stavudine

Pronunciation: ZER-it

Abbreviation: d4T

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

Zerit is an HIV medication. It is in a category of HIV medicines called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Zerit was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by people living with HIV in 1994.

Zerit must be used in combination with other HIV drugs.


Adult Dose: One 40mg capsule, twice a day. For patients weighing less than 133 lbs. (60 kg), one 30mg capsule, twice a day.

Pediatric Dose: Newborns and children weighing less than 66lbs (30kg): dosing based on weight.

Dosing Info: Take with or without food.

Side Effects

Lactic acidosis, which can be fatal, and severe liver problems have been reported in people taking 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.

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.

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

Less common side effects include allergic reactions, loss of appetite, bone pain (arthralgia), stomach upset, headache, problems sleeping, muscle pain (myalgia), diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, anemia, and pancreatitis.

Drug Interactions

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

Other Info

Due to Zerit’s unfavorable safety profile and the advent of regimen components with better safety and tolerability profiles, Zerit 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