1 What is Videx?

Brand: Videx, Videx EC, Videx Pediatric

Generic: Didanosine

Videx is used with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Videx will not cure or prevent HIV or AIDS. It helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay the development of problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease. Didanosine will not keep you from spreading HIV to other people.

The buffered tablets to be chewed, crushed or mixed with water are no longer available in the U.S.A. This product was voluntarily discontinued (not due to safety concerns). Didanosine delayed-release capsules and pediatric powder for oral solution are still available.

This medication is available only with your doctor’s prescription. This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Powder for Suspension
  • Chewable Tablets
  • Powder for Solution
  • Delayed-Release Capsule

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Videx, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is a decision that you and your doctor will make together.

For this medication, there are many things that need to be considered:

Allergies: Inform your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any other medications. It is also important to inform your doctor of any non-medicine allergies such as foods, dyes, preservatives or animals.

Pediatric: Up-to-date Pediatric Appropriate studies have not indicated any problems that would limit the use of this medication in children two weeks of age and older.

Geriatric: Up-to-date studies have not shown any problems specific to the elderly that would limit the use of this medication in the elderly population. Elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in dose.

Pregnancy: This medication is listed as Pregnancy Category B. This means that animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the unborn baby, however, there are are no studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect on the unborn baby, but studies in pregnant women have not shown a risk to the unborn baby.

Breastfeeding: There are no up-to-date studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication while breastfeeding. Weigh the potential risks with the benefits before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions: Certain medications should not be used together. However, in certain cases, two medications may be used together, even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change your dose or take other precautions.

When taking this medication, it is important that you inform your doctor if you are taking any of the medications listed below. The following interactions were selected on the basis of potential significance and are not all-inclusive.Using this medication with any of the following is not recommended.

Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication, or change some of the other medications you take:

  • Allopurinol
  • Oxypurinol
  • Ribavirin

Using this medication with any of the following medication is not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. 

Your doctor may make the decision not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medications you take:

  • Darunavir
  • Hydroxyurea
  • Stavudine
  • Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate
  • Zalcitabine

Using this medication with any of the following medications may increase your risk of side effects. However, using both medications may be the best treatment for you.

If both medications are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you take one or both medications:

  • Atazanavir
  • Atevirdine
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Delavirdine
  • Enoxacin
  • Ganciclovir
  • Indinavir
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Methadone
  • Metoclopramide
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Nelfinavir
  • Norfloxacin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Ranitidine
  • Rifabutin
  • Ritonavir
  • Sulfamethoxazole
  • Trimethoprim
  • Trovafloxacin Mesylate
  • Valganciclovir

Other Interactions: Certain medications should not be used while eating, or while eating certain foods in the case of negative interactions. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medications may also cause negative interactions. Talk with your doctor about the use of your medication with food, alcohol or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems: Pre-existing medical problems may affect the use of this medication.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Alcohol use
  • Liver disease (including hepatitis)
  • Obesity (overweight)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Peripheral neuropathy (nerve disorder) - Use with caution. May cause side effects to become worse.
  • Kidney disease - Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Portal hypertension (high blood pressure in the portal vein of the liver) - Use with caution. May make this condition worse.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Videx requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders. Do not take more, less or for a longer or shorter period of time than your doctor tells you.

This medication comes with a patient information brochure. It is very important that your read this information. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

Take this medication for the full length of treatment, even if you feel better. Do not share this medication with other people. Only take the specific brand of didanosine that your doctor prescribed.

This medication works best when there is a constant supply in your bloodstream. To keep this amount constant, do not miss any doses.

Take this medication on an empty stomach. Food may keep it from working properly. Didanosine oral liquid should be taken at least 30 minutes before or 2 hours after you eat.

Swallow the delayed-release capsule whole. Do not crush, break, chew or open it. Shake the oral liquid before using. Measure each dose with a specially marked measuring spoon or cups.

Dosing: Different patients will be given a different dose of this medication based on the strength of the medication. The number of doses you take each day, the time between doses and the length of time you take this medication depends on the reason you are taking this medication.

The following information only includes the average dose of this medication. If your dose is different, do not change it without first speaking to your doctor.

Delayed-release capsules:

  • Adults, teenagers, and children who can swallow capsules - Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor:
    • For patients weighing 60kg or more - 400mg once a day.
    • For patients weighing 25kg-60kg - 250mg once a day
    • For patients weighing 20kg-25kg - 200mg once a day
  • Children less than 20kg - Oral capsules are not for use.


  • Adults weighing 60kg - Normal dose is 200mg twice a day or 400mg once a day.
  • Adults weighing less than 60kg - Normal dose is 125mg twice a day or 250mg once a day.
  • Teenagers, children and infants 8 months of age and older - Normal dose is 120mg per square meter twice a day.
  • Infants 2 weeks to 8 months old - Normal dose is 100mg per square meter twice a day.
  • Infants younger than 2 weeks old - Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose: If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your normal dosing schedule. Do not double dose.

Storage: Store the delayed-release capsules in a closed container at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.

Store the oral liquid in the refrigerator. Throw away any unused medicine after 30 days. Keep our of the reach of children.

Do not keep expired medication or medication you no longer need. Ask your doctor how to dispose of any medication you do not use.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Videx, there are some precautions you must take. It is very important that your doctor checks in with you often while you are receiving this medication to make sure that it is working properly.

Do not take other prescription or over-the-counter medications without asking your doctor. This medication may cause a serious condition called pancreatitis, which is life-threatening and requires immediate emergency medical help.

Inform your doctor immediately if you have bloating, chills, constipation, dark urine, fast heartbeat (tachycardia), fever, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea, pain in the stomach, side or abdomen, vomiting or yellow eyes or skin (jaundice).

Do not use this medication if you are also using allopurinol or ribavirin. Using these medications together may cause serious side effects.

This reaction may cause two rare, but serious, reactions to this medication; lactic acidoses (too much acid in the blood) and liver toxicity, which includes an enlarged liver. These reactions are more common if you are female, very overweight or have been taking anti-HIV medications for a long time.

Call your doctor immediately if you have abdominal or stomach discomfort or cramping, dark urine, decreased appetite, diarrhea, a general feeling of discomfort (malaise), light-colored stool, muscle cramping or pain, nausea, unusual fatigue or weakness, difficulty breathing, vomiting or yellow eyes or skin (jaundice).

This medication may cause a condition called non-cirrhotic portal hypertension. Call your doctor immediately if you have abdominal or stomach pain, black or tarry stool, bleeding gums, blood in the urine or stool, red spots on the skin or unusual bleeding or bruising.

Inform your doctor immediately if you start having numbness, tingling or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs or feet. These may be symptoms of a condition called peripheral neuropathy.

Your immune system may get stronger when you begin taking HIV medications. Sometimes the immune system will start to fight infections that were hidden in your bodies, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis. Inform your doctor immediately if you have any changes in your health.

This medication may cause you to have excess body fat. Inform your doctor immediately if you notice changes in your body shape, including an increased amount of fat in the neck or upper back, face, chest or stomach area. You may also lose fat from your arms, legs or face.

Do not drink alcohol while using this medication. Inform your doctor if you start to see unusual colours or have blurred vision. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes regularly checked by an ophthalmologist.

HIV may be acquired from, or spread, to other people through infected body fluids, including blood, vaginal fluid or semen. If you are infected, it is best to avoid any sexual activity involving an exchange of body fluids with other people.

If you do have sex, always use a condom. Only use condoms made of latex and use them every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex. The use of a spermicide may also help prevent the transmission of HIV if it is not irritating to the vagina, rectum or mouth.

Spermicides have been shown to kill HIV in lab tests. Do not use oil-based jelly, cold cream, baby oil or shortening as a lubricant, as these products can cause the condom to break. Lubricants without oil, such as K-Y jelly, are recommended.

Women may wish to carry their own condoms. Birth control pills and diaphragms will not prevent someone from giving or getting AIDS. If you inject drugs, get help to stop.

Do not share needles or equipment. In some cities, more than half of drug users are infected and sharing even 1 needle or syringe can spread the virus. If you have any questions about this, ask your doctor.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Videx. Although not all of these side-effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side-effects:

Less common:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Tingling, burning, numbness and pain in the hands or feet


Some side effects that may occur do not normally need medical attention. These may leave as your body becomes accustomed to treatment. Ask your doctor about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Talk to your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome, or if you have questions:

More common:

Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any other side effects. Ask your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.