Drug Information

Stavudine is used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. It is in a class of drugs known as antivirals.

Common brand names:


Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods

Types of interactions: Beneficial Adverse Check

Replenish Depleted Nutrients

  • none

Reduce Side Effects

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine

    Severe peripheral neuropathy (painful sensations due to nerve damage in the hands and feet) often develops in people taking stavudine or other drugs in its class. People with peripheral neuropathy who were taking one of these drugs were found to be deficient in acetyl-L-carnitine.1 In a preliminary trial, supplementing with 1,500 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine twice a day resulted in improvement in the neuropathy after six months in people taking stavudine or related drugs.2 Similar benefits were seen in another study that used the same amount of acetyl-L-carnitine.3

  • Vitamin B1
    A 30-year-old woman who was taking stavudine developed a rare side effect called lactic acidosis, which was successfully treated with intravenous thiamine.4 Controlled studies are needed to determine whether lactic acidosis might be prevented if people taking stavudine supplement with vitamin B1. Until more information is available, some health practitioners may recommend supplemental vitamin B1 to individuals taking stavudine.
    The interaction is supported by preliminary, weak, fragmentary, and/or contradictory scientific evidence.

Support Medicine

  • none

Reduces Effectiveness

  • none

Potential Negative Interaction

  • none

Explanation Required 

  • none

The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.


1. Famularo G, Moretti S, Marcellini S, et al. Acetyl-carnitine deficiency in AIDS patients with neurotoxicity on treatment with antiretroviral nucleoside analogues. AIDS 1997;11:185-90.

2. Hart AM, Wilson AD, Montovani C, et al. Acetyl-l-carnitine: a pathogenesis based treatment for HIV-associated antiretroviral toxic neuropathy. AIDS2004;18:1549-60.

3. Herzmann C, Johnson MA, Youle M. Long-term effect of acetyl-L-carnitine for antiretroviral toxic neuropathy. HIV Clin Trials 2005;6:344-50.

4. Schramm C, Wanitschke R, Galle PR. Thiamin for the treatment of nucleoside analogue-induced severe lactic acidosis. Eur J Anaesthesiol 1999;16:733-5.