Drug that has had success in delaying the development of AIDS in patients with HIV. Since its introduction in the mid 1980s, it has prolonged the lives of millions of patients. It is particularly effective in preventing transmission of HIV from infected pregnant women to their fetuses. Since it has a greater effect on the replication of viruses than of body cells, it has fewer side effects than most other AIDS drugs, though many patients nevertheless cannot tolerate it. Because HIV rapidly becomes resistant to any single antiretroviral drug, AZT is usually given in combination with other drugs.

Variants of AZT

AZT in full azidothymidine also known as zidovudine

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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