Skip to Content
Vaccines aren’t just for kids. Is your teen protected?

Didanosine solution

Generic Name: didanosine (dye-DAN-oh-seen)
Brand Name: Videx

Didanosine solution may cause serious and sometimes fatal inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). This has occurred in patients who have just started taking didanosine solution and in patients who have already been taking it. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience sudden stomach or back pain, swelling of the stomach, fever or chills, nausea or vomiting, or fast heartbeat.

Didanosine solution may cause severe and sometimes fatal lactic acidosis and liver problems. Fatal lactic acidosis has also occurred in pregnant women who have used didanosine solution along with certain other medicines for HIV (eg, stavudine). Tell your doctor if you are taking stavudine and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.


Didanosine solution is used for:

Treating HIV infection when used in combination with other medicines.

Didanosine solution is a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor. It works by stopping the growth of HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS.

Do NOT use didanosine solution if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in didanosine solution
  • you have pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis), certain liver problems (eg, enlarged liver, portal hypertension), abnormal liver function tests, or lactic acidosis
  • you are taking allopurinol or ribavirin

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using didanosine solution:

Some medical conditions may interact with didanosine solution. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of heart problems (eg, heart attack)
  • if you have advanced HIV infection (AIDS), kidney problems, liver problems (eg, hepatitis), gallstones, nerve problems (neuropathy), high blood cholesterol or lipid levels, or high blood amylase levels
  • if you are overweight or you have a history of alcohol abuse

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with didanosine solution. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Allopurinol, ganciclovir, nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) (eg, tenofovir), or ribavirin because they may increase the risk of didanosine solution's side effects
  • Anorexiants (eg, phentermine), antacids (eg, containing aluminum or magnesium), or sympathomimetics (eg, albuterol, pseudoephedrine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by didanosine solution
  • Azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole, ketoconazole), delavirdine, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir), lithium, quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin), sulfones (eg, dapsone), or tetracyclines (eg, doxycycline) because their effectiveness may be decreased by didanosine solution
  • Hydroxyurea because the risk of pancreatitis may be increased
  • Methadone because it may decrease didanosine solution's effectiveness
  • Stavudine because the risk of pancreatitis or fatal lactic acidosis in pregnant women may be increased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if didanosine solution may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use didanosine solution:

Use didanosine solution as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Didanosine solution comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get didanosine solution refilled.
  • Take didanosine solution by mouth on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after eating.
  • Didanosine solution may reduce the effectiveness of certain other medicines when taken together. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should separate didanosine solution from any other medicines that you are taking.
  • Shake well before each use.
  • Use a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure your dose.
  • Continue to take didanosine solution even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of didanosine solution, take it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 hours of your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. It is important not to miss doses of didanosine solution. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use didanosine solution.

Important safety information:

  • Do not drink alcohol while you are taking didanosine solution.
  • Didanosine solution is not a cure for HIV infection. Patients may still get illnesses and infections associated with HIV. Remain under the care of your doctor.
  • Didanosine solution does not stop the spread of HIV to others through blood or sexual contact. Use barrier methods of birth control (eg, condoms) if you have HIV infection. Do not share needles, injection supplies, or items such as toothbrushes or razors.
  • When your medicine supply is low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can. Do not stop taking didanosine solution, even for a short period of time. If you do, the virus may grow resistant to the medicine and become harder to treat.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take didanosine solution before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • The risk of severe side effects (eg, lactic acidosis, severe liver problems) may be greater in women, patients who are overweight (obese), and patients who have taken reverse transcriptase inhibitors (eg, emtricitabine, tenofovir) for a long time. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your risk of severe side effects from didanosine solution.
  • Changes in body fat (eg, an increased amount of fat in the upper back, neck, breast, and trunk, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face) may occur in some patients taking didanosine solution. The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
  • Didanosine solution may improve immune system function. This may reveal hidden infections in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of infection (eg, fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, shortness of breath) after you start didanosine solution.
  • Lab tests, including periodic eye exams, liver function, complete blood cell counts, and blood clotting (eg, international normalized ratio [INR]), may be performed while you use didanosine solution. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use didanosine solution with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Didanosine solution should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 weeks old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using didanosine solution while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or didanosine solution to the baby.

Possible side effects of didanosine solution:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; headache; mild nausea or stomach pain.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; blood in the vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; blurred vision or other vision changes; chest pain or discomfort, numbness of an arm or leg, or shortness of breath; confusion; dark urine; dizziness; fainting; fast, shallow breathing; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; feeling cold, especially in your arms and legs; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; light-headedness; loss of appetite; nausea or vomiting; numbness, tingling, or pain in the hands or feet; pale stools; seizures; severe muscle pain or cramping; severe stomach or back pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); stomach swelling; tiredness; unusual bruising or bleeding; weakness; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center ( http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dark urine; diarrhea; pale stools; severe stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; tingling, burning, or numbness in the hands or feet; unusual fatigue; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Proper storage of didanosine solution:

Store didanosine solution in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat and light. Do not keep longer than 30 days. Keep didanosine solution out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about didanosine solution, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Didanosine solution is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take didanosine solution or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about didanosine solution. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to didanosine solution. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using didanosine solution.

Review Date: November 3, 2016

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Hide