Retrovir, AZT (Azidothymidine)

Reviewed by Dr Simon Rowley, Dr Lesley Voss (Paediatric ID), Brenda Hughes, and Dana Lui (NS-ANP)
May 2006
Dose and Pharmacology Newborn Drug Protocol Index Newborn Services Home Page


Management of  Zidovudine Administration




Intravenous infusion 3,6

  1. Must be diluted to 2 mg/ml with glucose 5%.
  2. Compatible diluents: glucose 5 % and sodium chloride 0.9%.
  3. Administer dose over one hour.
  4. Flush well between different infusions, fluids, or medications.
  5. Compatible at Y-site junction with the following drugs when they are diluted according to NICU
    protocols: acyclovir, amikacin, fluconazole, gentamicin, heparin.
  6. Incompatible with meropenem when it is diluted according to NICU protocol.


  1. Can be given with food.  Best given between 2 feeds to optimise absorption.

Observation and Documentation

  1. Assess for signs of adverse effects.
  2. Assess IV site for signs of extravasation.
  3. Record urine output.


Selected References

1 Capparelli EV, Mirochnick M, Dankner WM, et al.  Pharmacokinetics and tolerance of zidovudine in preterm infants.  J Pediatr 2003; 142:47-52.
2 Other related links:
NWH Newborn website -  Guidelines for Paediatric Management of HIV Positive Pregnant Women
www.aidsinfo.nih.gov  -  Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents in paediatric HIV infection
3 Paediatric Formulary (7th ed.) 2005. London: Guy’s and St. Thomas’, King’s College and University Lewisham Hospitals.
4 Sweetman SC (Ed.). Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference (34th ed.). London: Pharmaceutical Press, 2005
5 Retrovir TM Oral Formulations (Data sheet) and  IV for Infusion (Data sheet). Auckland: GlaxoSmithKline NZ Ltd, 2005.
6 Trissel LA (ed.). Handbook on Injectable Drugs (13th ed.). Bethesda: American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, Inc., 2005.