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A nucleoside analog antiviral drug that inhibits the replication of retroviruses such as HIV by interfering with the enzyme reverse transcriptase. Also called ddC.
[zal- (perhaps alteration of (de)s- variant of de- + al(cohol), from the missing hydroxyl groups of cytidine) + -citabine, nucleoside analog antiviral and anticancer drug suff. (from shortening and alteration of cytarabine, an anticancer drug, blend of cytosine arabinoside, compound containing arabinose).]