The current dosage of zidovudine for children is 180 mg/m2 every 6 h. To investigate whether a lower dosage was equally effective, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children (3 months to 12 years) with mild to moderate symptoms were randomly assigned to receive either high-dose (180 mg/m2/dose) or low-dose (90 mg/m2/dose) zidovudine (double-blind). Treatments were compared with respect to neuropsychologic function, survival, clinical and laboratory evidence of disease progression, and safety and tolerance. Four hundred twenty-six HIV-infected children were enrolled; median time for receipt of study drug was 35 months. Zidovudine in either dose was well tolerated, with no difference in efficacy or tolerance by treatment group using any clinical or laboratory parameter. In children with mild to moderate disease, a reduction of zidovudine to 90 mg/m2/dose will result in substantial cost savings and should be the recommended dose.