Stavudine (Page 7 of 9)


Cross-resistance among HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors has been observed. Several studies have demonstrated that prolonged stavudine treatment can select and/or maintain thymidine analogue mutations (TAMs; M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, T215Y/F, K219Q/E) associated with zidovudine resistance. HIV-1 isolates with one or more TAMs exhibited reduced susceptibility to stavudine in cell culture. These TAMs are seen at a similar frequency with stavudine and zidovudine in virological treatment. The clinical relevance of these findings suggests that stavudine should be avoided in the presence of thymidine analogue mutations.


13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

In 2-year carcinogenicity studies in mice and rats, stavudine was noncarcinogenic at doses which produced exposures (AUC) 39 and 168 times, respectively, human exposure at the recommended clinical dose. Benign and malignant liver tumors in mice and rats and malignant urinary bladder tumors in male rats occurred at levels of exposure 250 (mice) and 732 (rats) times human exposure at the recommended clinical dose.

Stavudine was not mutagenic in the Ames, E. coli reverse mutation, or the CHO/HGPRT mammalian cell forward gene mutation assays, with and without metabolic activation. Stavudine produced positive results in the in vitro human lymphocyte clastogenesis and mouse fibroblast assays, and in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test. In the in vitro assays, stavudine elevated the frequency of chromosome aberrations in human lymphocytes (concentrations of 25 to 250 mcg/mL, without metabolic activation) and increased the frequency of transformed foci in mouse fibroblast cells (concentrations of 25 to 2500 mcg/mL, with and without metabolic activation). In the in vivo micronucleus assay, stavudine was clastogenic in bone marrow cells following oral stavudine administration to mice at dosages of 600 to 2000 mg/kg/day for 3 days.

No evidence of impaired fertility was seen in rats with exposures (based on Cmax ) up to 216 times that observed following a clinical dosage of 1 mg/kg/day.


Combination Therapy

The combination use of stavudine is based on the results of clinical studies in HIV-1-infected patients in double- and triple-combination regimens with other antiretroviral agents.

One of these studies (START 1) was a multicenter, randomized, open-label study comparing stavudine (40 mg twice daily) plus lamivudine plus indinavir to zidovudine plus lamivudine plus indinavir in 202 treatment-naive patients. Both regimens resulted in a similar magnitude of inhibition of HIV-1 RNA levels and increases in CD4+ cell counts through 48 weeks.


The efficacy of stavudine was demonstrated in a randomized, double-blind study (AI455-019, conducted 1992 to 1994) comparing stavudine with zidovudine in 822 patients with a spectrum of HIV-1-related symptoms. The outcome in terms of progression of HIV-1 disease and death was similar for both drugs.


16.1 Capsules

Stavudine Capsules, USP are available containing 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg or 40 mg of stavudine, USP.

The 15 mg capsules have a hard-shell gelatin capsule with an off-white opaque cap and a pink opaque body filled with a white to off-white powder. The capsule is axially printed with M 154 in black ink on both the cap and body.

The 20 mg capsules have a hard-shell gelatin capsule with a pink opaque cap and a pink opaque body filled with a white to off-white powder. The capsule is axially printed with M 155 in black ink on both the cap and body.

The 30 mg capsules have a hard-shell gelatin capsule with an off-white opaque cap and a light orange opaque body filled with a white to off-white powder. The capsule is axially printed with M 137 in black ink on both the cap and body.

The 40 mg capsules have a hard-shell gelatin capsule with a light orange opaque cap and a light orange opaque body filled with a white to off-white powder. The capsule is axially printed with M 138 in black ink on both the cap and body.

They are supplied by State of Florida DOH Central Pharmacy as follows:

NDC Strength Quantity/Form Color Source Prod. Code
53808-0852-1 20 mg 30 Capsules in a Blister Pack pink opaque 0378-5041

16.3 Storage

Store at 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F). [See USP Controlled Room Temperature.]

Dispense in a tight, light-resistant container as defined in the USP using a child-resistant closure.

PHARMACIST: Dispense a Medication Guide with each prescription.



17.1 General

Patients should be advised that stavudine capsules are not a cure for HIV-1 infection, and that they may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. Patients should be advised to remain under the care of a physician when using stavudine capsules and the importance of adherence to any antiretroviral regimen including those that contain stavudine capsules.

Patients should be advised to avoid doing things that can spread HIV-1 infection to others.

  • Do not share needles or other injection equipment.
  • Do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes and razor blades.
  • Do not have any kind of sex without protection. Always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom or other barrier method to lower the chance of sexual contact with semen, vaginal secretions or blood.
  • Do not breast-feed. It is not known if stavudine can be passed to your baby in your breast milk and whether it could harm your baby. Also, mothers with HIV-1 should not breast-feed because HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.

Patients should be informed that when stavudine capsules are used in combination with other agents with similar toxicities, the incidence of adverse reactions may be higher than when stavudine capsules are used alone.

Patients should be instructed that if they miss a dose, to take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue the regular dosing schedule.

Patients should be instructed if they take too much stavudine capsules, they should contact a poison control center or emergency room right away.

Patients should be informed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that HIV-infected mothers not nurse newborn infants to reduce the risk of postnatal transmission of HIV infection.

17.2 Lactic Acidosis

Patients should be informed of the importance of early recognition of symptoms of symptomatic hyperlactatemia or lactic acidosis syndrome, which include unexplained weight loss, abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dyspnea and motor weakness. Patients in whom these symptoms develop should seek medical attention immediately. Discontinuation of stavudine capsule therapy may be required.

17.3 Hepatic Toxicity

Patients should be informed that an increased risk of hepatotoxicity, which may be fatal, may occur in patients treated with stavudine capsules in combination with didanosine and hydroxyurea. This combination should be avoided.

17.4 Peripheral Neuropathy

Patients should be informed that an important toxicity of stavudine is peripheral neuropathy. Patients should be aware that peripheral neuropathy is manifested by numbness, tingling, or pain in hands or feet, and that these symptoms should be reported to their physicians. Patients should be counseled that peripheral neuropathy occurs with greatest frequency in patients who have advanced HIV-1 disease or a history of peripheral neuropathy, and discontinuation of stavudine capsules may be required if toxicity develops.

Caregivers of young children receiving stavudine capsule therapy should be instructed regarding detection and reporting of peripheral neuropathy.

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