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(zidovudine 300mg / lamivudine 150mg)
Fixed-dose Combination

Articles on Combivir
Full US Prescribing Inormation

Patient Information
What Is Combivir
What Are the Side Effects?
How Does Combivir Work?
Will COMBIVIR work the same as
  EPIVIR and RETROVIR taken together?
What should I do if I miss a dose of COMBIVIR?
Who should not take COMBIVIR?
Can COMBIVIR be taken with other medications?
How should I store COMBIVIR Tablets?

Articles on Combivir

Cost Effectiveness of Truvada versus Combivir, Both in Combination with Efavirenz (Sustiva) - 3/28/08

Nevirapine (Viramune) versus Abacavir (Ziagen) in Combination with AZT/3TC (Combivir) as First-line Antiretroviral Therapy
- 3/21/08


COMBIVIR is the brand name of a pill that combines lamivudine and zidovudine. These two drugs can be used with other medicines to treat HIV.

HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. It causes AIDS.

COMBIVIR slows HIV from making more copies of itself. This can keep the virus from infecting new cells. It can lower the amount of HIV in your body. Your CD4 cell count can increase with the lowering of the HIV virus.

The two drugs together are stronger against the virus than either one alone. COMBIVIR should be taken with other HIV drugs.

COMBIVIR can be part of many treatments now used to fight HIV.


What can COMBIVIR do for you?

Helps keep viral load DOWN
Helps keep CD4 cell count UP by lowering the viral load
Helps you to avoid certain infections and cancers often linked to HIV

Good things you should know about COMBIVIR:

Makes your pill schedule simpler
Helps you stick to your schedule
May be taken with or without food
Helps keep your treatment options open
Works with many other HIV drugs, giving your doctor many treatment choices
Needs only one co-pay for two drugs

Possible Side Effects of COMBIVIR

It’s important to know that serious side effects can occur with COMBIVIR, such as a decrease in red and white blood cells and muscle damage. A buildup of lactic acid and an enlarged liver, including fatal cases, have been reported rarely with some HIV drugs, including nucleoside analogues.

For HIV-infected individuals, periodic blood tests are recommended. If certain changes occur in your laboratory results while you are taking COMBIVIR, particularly if you become anemic or if your white blood cell count falls too low, your medication may need to be adjusted; your doctor may prescribe EPIVIR plus RETROVIR separately in place of COMBIVIR.

Some patients infected with both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV have worsening of hepatitis after stopping lamivudine (a component of COMBIVIR). Discuss any change in treatment with your doctor. If you have both HBV and HIV and stop treatment with COMBIVIR, you should be closely monitored by your doctor for at least several months.

Worsening of liver disease (sometimes resulting in death) has occurred in patients infected with both HIV and hepatitis C virus who are taking anti-HIV medicines and are also being treated for hepatitis C with interferon with or without ribavirin. If you are taking COMBIVIR as well as interferon with or without ribavirin and you experience side effects, be sure to tell your doctor.

When you start taking HIV medicines, your immune system may get stronger and could begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body, such as pneumonia, herpes virus or tuberculosis. If you have new symptoms after starting your HIV medicines, be sure to talk with your doctor.

Changes in body fat may occur in some patients taking antiretroviral therapy. These changes may include an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck (“buffalo hump”), breast, and around the trunk. Loss of fat from the legs, arms and face may also occur. The cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time.

In clinical studies of lamivudine plus zidovudine, side effects occurring in 5% or more of patients included: headache, upset stomach, weakness and fatigue, and nasal symptoms.

Tell your doctor promptly about any side effects or other unusual symptoms you may experience. Although it may make you healthier, COMBIVIR does not cure HIV.

Will COMBIVIR work the same as EPIVIR and RETROVIR taken together?

Taking one COMBIVIR Tablet twice a day is the same as taking one EPIVIR 150 mg Tablet twice a day and either two RETROVIR 100 mg Capsules three times a day or one RETROVIR 300 mg Tablet twice a day.

What should I do if I miss a dose of COMBIVIR?

If you miss a dose by more than 4 hours, wait and then take the next dose at the regularly scheduled time. However, if you miss a dose by less than 4 hours, take your missed dose immediately. Then take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time. Do not take more or less than your prescribed dose of COMBIVIR at any one time.

Who should not take COMBIVIR?

You should not take COMBIVIR if you have had a serious allergic reaction to either lamivudine (also known as EPIVIR or 3TC) or zidovudine (also known as RETROVIR or ZDV).

Do not take COMBIVIR at the same time as EPIVIR or RETROVIR, or TRIZIVIRŪ (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine/zidovudine), because they also contain lamivudine and zidovudine. Individual dosing with EPIVIR plus RETROVIR, rather than COMBIVIR, should be considered for:

  • A child under 12 years of age.
  • Anyone who requires dosage adjustments due to drug side effects or poor kidney function.

If you are 65 years of age or over, consult your healthcare professional about the functioning of your liver, kidneys, and heart; about other illnesses you may suffer from, and about any other medications you may be taking. It is possible that the dosage may need to be modified.

Can COMBIVIR be taken with other medications?

Yes. COMBIVIR can be taken with most other medications, including most anti-HIV drugs. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, over-the-counter or prescription, that you are taking.

How should I store COMBIVIR Tablets?

COMBIVIR Tablets may be stored at room temperature and do not require refrigeration.