Class: Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor
- Powder for oral solution 2 g
- Powder for oral solution 4 g
- Capsules, delayed release (with enteric-coated beadlets), oral 125 mg
- Capsules, delayed release (with enteric-coated beadlets), oral 200 mg
- Capsules, delayed release (with enteric-coated beadlets), oral 250 mg
- Capsules, delayed release (with enteric-coated beadlets), oral 400 mg
Inhibits replication of HIV by interfering with DNA synthesis.
T max is 0.25 to 1.5 h (buffered formulation) and 2 h (delayed release). Bioavailability is approximately 42% (buffered formulation). Food decreased the C max and AUC by approximately 55% when didanosine tablets were administered up to 2 h after a meal. C max and AUC of the delayed-release capsules decreased by approximately 46% and 19%, respectively, in the presence of food. Didanosine should be taken on an empty stomach.
Less than 5% protein bound. Vd is approximately 43.7 L/m 2 (buffered formulation) and 308 L (delayed-release capsule).
Half-life is approximately 1.5 h (buffered formulation) and approximately 1.2 h (delayed-release capsule). Approximately 18% is recovered in the urine (buffered formulation). Renal Cl is approximately 223 mL/min/m 2 (buffered formulation).
Special PopulationsRenal Function Impairment
Half-life increased and Cl decreased as the CrCl decreased.Hepatic Function Impairment
Mean C max and AUC were 19% and 13% higher, respectively.Elderly
Pharmacokinetic studies have not been conducted.Children
The pharmacokinetics of didanosine in pediatric patients are similar to those in adults. Pharmacokinetics in newborns younger than 2 wk are too variable to determine an appropriate dose.Gender
Pharmacokinetic studies have not been conducted.
Indications and Usage
Treatment of HIV-1 infection in combination with other antiretrovirals.
Coadministration with allopurinol or ribavirin.
Dosage and AdministrationDelayed-Release Capsule
Adults and children Patients weighing 20 kg to less than 25 kg
PO 200 mg once daily.Patients weighing 25 kg to less than 60 kg
PO 250 mg once daily.Patients weighing 60 kg or more
PO 400 mg once daily.Powder for Oral Solution
Adults Patients weighing 60 kg or more
PO 200 mg twice daily. For patients who require once-daily dosing, administer 400 mg once daily.Patients weighing less than 60 kg
PO 125 mg twice daily. For patients who require once-daily dosing, administer 250 mg once daily.Children 2 wk to 8 mo of age
PO 100 mg/m 2 twice daily, not to exceed the adult dosing recommendation.Older than 8 mo
PO 120 mg/m 2 twice daily, not to exceed the adult dosing recommendation.Renal Function Impairment
Adults Delayed-release capsule CrCl 30 to 59 mL/min
PO For patients weighing at least 60 kg, administer 200 mg once daily; for patients weighing less than 60 kg, administer 125 mg once daily.CrCl 10 to 29 mL/min
PO 125 mg once daily.CrCl less than 10 mL/min and patients requiring continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis
PO For patients weighing at least 60 kg, administer 125 mg once daily; do not administer to patients weighing less than 60 kg. Use the powder for oral solution.Powder for oral solution CrCl 30 to 59 mL/min
PO For patients weighing at least 60 kg, administer 200 mg once daily or 100 mg twice daily; for patients weighing less than 60 kg, administer 150 mg once daily or 75 mg twice daily.CrCl 10 to 29 mL/min
PO For patients weighing at least 60 kg, administer 150 mg once daily; for patients weighing less than 60 kg, administer 100 mg once daily.CrCl less than 10 mL/min and patients requiring continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis
PO For patients weighing at least 60 kg, administer 100 mg once daily; for patients weighing less than 60 mg, administer 75 mg once daily.Children
There are insufficient data to recommend a specific dose adjustment in children with renal impairment; consider a dose reduction.Coadministration With Tenofovir
Adults CrCl 60 mL/min or more and weighing at least 60 kg
PO Administer didanosine 250 mg once daily.CrCl 60 mL/min or more and weighing less than 60 kg
PO Administer didanosine 200 mg once daily.
- Administer on an empty stomach, at least 30 min before or 2 h after eating.
- Delayed-release capsule
- Delayed-release capsules should be swallowed whole. Do not break, crush, or chew.
- Patients with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may tolerate a reduced dose after the resolution of their symptoms. If symptoms recur, consider permanently discontinuing treatment.
- When coadministered with tenofovir, administration with a light meal (400 kcal or less, 20% fat or less) or in the fasted state is recommended.
- Powder for oral solution
- Shake solution well before using.
- Powder for oral solution is first mixed with purified water to obtain a concentration of 20 mg/mL, then mixed with an antacid ( Mylanta Maximum Strength ) to obtain a final concentration of 10 mg/mL.
- When coadministered with tenofovir, administer both drugs together on an empty stomach or administer didanosine on an empty stomach.
Storage/StabilityPowder for oral solution
Store powder between 59° and 86°F. Once mixed, store for up to 30 days in refrigerator between 36° and 46°F. Discard unused portion after 30 days.Delayed-release capsule
Store between 59° and 86°F.
Drug InteractionsAllopurinol, ribavirin
May cause increased didanosine plasma levels. Coadministration is contraindicated.Antacids
Aluminum- or magnesium-containing antacids may potentiate adverse reactions associated with the antacid component of didanosine powder for oral solution. Use with caution.Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole), dapsone, and other drugs whose absorption can be affected by gastric acidity
Plasma concentrations of these agents may be decreased by didanosine powder for oral solution. Administer at least 2 h before didanosine powder for oral solution.Drugs that cause peripheral neuropathy or pancreatitis
Increased risk of these toxicities. When treatment with life-sustaining drugs known to cause pancreatic toxicity is required, suspension of didanosine therapy is recommended. Use with extreme caution.Fluoroquinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin), tetracyclines
Plasma concentrations of these agents may be decreased by didanosine powder for oral solution. If concurrent use cannot be avoided, give the fluoroquinolone at least 2 h before or 6 h after didanosine powder for oral solution. Separate the administration times of tetracyclines and didanosine powder for oral solution by 3 to 4 h.Food
Didanosine C max and AUC are decreased by food. Administer on an empty stomach.Ganciclovir, valganciclovir
Didanosine plasma concentrations may be elevated, increasing the risk of toxicity. Monitor for clinical response and toxicity. Adjust the didanosine dose as needed.Hydroxyurea
Patients treated with didanosine in combination with stavudine, with or without hydroxyurea, may be at increased risk for pancreatitis and hepatotoxicity, which may be fatal, and severe peripheral neuropathy. Avoid coadministration.Methadone
May decrease didanosine plasma levels. Do not administer methadone with didanosine powder for oral solution because of decreases in didanosine concentrations. If coadministration is necessary, the didanosine delayed-release capsules are recommended. Monitor the clinical response and adjust the didanosine dose as needed.Nelfinavir
Nelfinavir plasma concentrations may be increased. The pharmacokinetics of nelfinavir are not altered to a clinically important degree when it is administered 1 h after didanosine.Protease inhibitors (eg, delavirdine, indinavir)
Administer 1 h prior to didanosine powder for oral solution to avoid decreasing plasma levels of protease inhibitors.Stavudine
Combination therapy of didanosine, stavudine, and other antiretrovirals has caused fatal lactic acidosis. Peripheral neuropathy has occurred more frequently in patients treated with neurotoxic drugs, including stavudine. Close clinical monitoring is recommended.Tenofovir
Didanosine plasma concentrations may be increased, necessitating a dose reduction in didanosine.
Incidences of the following adverse reactions were reported with didanosine monotherapy. When didanosine is used in combination with other agents with similar adverse reactions, the incidence of these reactions, including pancreatitis and hepatotoxicity, may be higher than with didanosine alone.
Peripheral neurologic symptoms/neuropathy (20%); asthenia (postmarketing).
Rash/pruritus (9%); alopecia (postmarketing).
Dry eyes, optic neuritis, retinal depigmentation (postmarketing).
Diarrhea (28%); abdominal pain (13%); pancreatitis (7%); anorexia, dry mouth, dyspepsia, flatulence, inflammation of the salivary gland (postmarketing).
Anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia (postmarketing).
Hepatitis, liver failure, noncirrhotic portal hypertension, symptomatic hyperlactatemia/lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis (postmarketing).
Anaphylactic reactions (postmarketing).
Elevated serum amylase (17%); elevated ALT and AST (9%); elevated serum alkaline phosphatase (4%); elevated serum uric acid (3%); elevated serum GGT, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia (postmarketing).
Diabetes mellitus, redistribution/accumulation of body fat (postmarketing).
Arthralgia, myalgia, myopathy, rhabdomyolysis (postmarketing).
Chills/fever, pain, parotid gland enlargement (postmarketing).
Fatal and nonfatal pancreatitis have occurred during therapy, regardless of the degree of immunosuppression. Withhold treatment in patients with suspected pancreatitis and discontinue in patients with confirmed pancreatitis.Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly
Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported. Fatal lactic acidosis has been reported in pregnant women receiving the combination of didanosine and stavudine with other antiretroviral agents.
Monitor for hyperlactatemia, lactic acidosis, hepatotoxicity, and pancreatitis. Patients with preexisting liver dysfunction, including chronic active hepatitis, have an increased frequency of liver abnormalities, including severe and potentially fatal hepatic adverse reactions; monitor according to standard practice. Evidence of worsening liver disease may require interruption or discontinuation of treatment. Monitor patients for early signs of portal hypertension (eg, splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia) during routine medical visits. Consider appropriate laboratory testing, including liver enzymes, serum bilirubin, albumin, CBC, INR, and ultrasonography. Consider periodic retinal examination. Monitor patients, especially elderly patients, with advanced HIV-1 infection closely for pancreatitis.
Category B . The US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines recommend that HIV therapy, with the exception of efavirenz, be continued during pregnancy because the expected benefit to the HIV-1–positive mother outweighs the unknown risk to the fetus.
Undetermined. HIV-1–infected women should not breast-feed.
Safety and efficacy not established in patients younger than 2 wk.
Select dose with caution because of the greater likelihood of decreased renal function.
Dosage reduction is recommended in patients with CrCl less than 60 mL/min.
Safety and efficacy have not been established in HIV-1–infected patients with significant underlying liver disease. Patients with preexisting liver dysfunction have an increased incidence of liver abnormalities, including severe and potentially fatal hepatic adverse events.
Redistribution/accumulation of body fat (eg, central obesity, dorsocervical fat enlargement [buffalo hump]) has been observed in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy.
Hepatotoxicity and hepatic failure resulting in death were reported in patients who were treated with hydroxyurea and other antiretroviral agents. Fatal hepatic events were reported most often in patients treated with the combination of hydroxyurea, didanosine, and stavudine; this combination should be avoided.
Immune reconstitution syndrome
Has been reported in patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy, including didanosine. During the initial phase of treatment, patients may develop an inflammatory response to indolent or residual opportunistic infections (eg, Mycobacterium avium ), necessitating further evaluation and treatment. Autoimmune disorders (eg, Graves disease, polymyositis, Guillain-Barré syndrome) have been reported to occur in the setting of immune reconstitution syndrome.
Noncirrhotic portal hypertension
Has been reported postmarketing, including cases leading to liver transplantation or death. Common presenting features include elevated liver enzymes, esophageal varices, hematemesis, ascites, and splenomegaly.
Retinal changes and optic neuritis have been reported in adults and children.
Has been reported and may occur more frequently in patients with advanced HIV-1 infection, patients with a history of neuropathy, or patients treated with other neurotoxic drugs. Consider discontinuation in patients who develop peripheral neuropathy.
Diarrhea, hepatic dysfunction, hyperuricemia, pancreatitis, peripheral neuropathy.
- Advise patients to take the drug on an empty stomach. Instruct patients to swallow capsules whole and to not open the capsules.
- Inform patients that the preferred dosing frequency of the powder for oral solution is twice daily; once-daily dosing can be considered in adult patients whose management requires once-daily dosing of didanosine.
- Inform patient that the drug does not completely eliminate HIV-1 virus and, therefore, does not reduce the risk of transmitting HIV. Appropriate precautions must be continued.
- Emphasize that the drug is not a cure for HIV-1 infection, and patients may continue to develop HIV-associated illness, including opportunistic infections. Instruct patients to remain under the care of a health care provider.
- Inform patients that pancreatitis, a serious toxicity of didanosine when used alone or in combination regimens, has been fatal.
- Advise patients that peripheral neuropathy may develop during therapy with didanosine and occurs more frequently in patients with advanced HIV disease or a history of peripheral neuropathy. Discontinuation of therapy may be required if this toxicity occurs.
- Inform patients that lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of didanosine alone or in combination with other antiretrovirals.
- Inform patients that hepatoxicity, including fatal hepatic adverse events, were reported in patients with preexisting liver dysfunction.
- Inform patients that noncirrhotic portal hypertension has been reported, including cases leading to liver transplantation or death.
- Inform patients that retinal changes and optic neuritis have been reported.
- Inform patients that redistribution or accumulation of body fat may occur in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy and that the cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time.
- Instruct patients to report these symptoms to their health care provider: abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, flu-like symptoms, nausea, sore throat, tingling pain or numbness in the hands or feet, vomiting.
- Advise patients to avoid alcoholic beverages because of the risk for exacerbation of didanosine toxicities.
- Advise patients not to take any medicine, vitamins, or herbal products without first checking with their health care provider.
Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.
More Didanosine resources
- Didanosine Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Didanosine Monograph (AHFS DI)
- didanosine Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
- didanosine Concise Consumer Information (Cerner Multum)
- didanosine chewable/dispersible buffered tablets MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
- Videx Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Videx EC Prescribing Information (FDA)
- Videx EC delayed-release enteric-coated capsules MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)