You have reached the legacy site. Please visit our new site at

 Google Custom Search
Epzicom (abacavir + lamivudine)

Articles on Epzicomr
Full US Prescribing Inormation

Patient Information
What is Epzicom?
What is known about Epzicom?
What about known about side effects?
What about drug interactions?
EPZICOM™ 30 minute slide presentation

Articles on Epzicom

Switching from Kivexa [ABC/3TC ]+Kaletra [LPV/r] to Truvada [TDF/FTC]+Kaletra [LPV/r] Reduces High Cholesterol: Results of a 12 Week Randomized, Controlled Study (ROCKET II)

Switching to Atripla« (EFV/FTC/TDF) from ABC/3TC FDC (Kivexa«/Epzicom«) + Efavirenz (EFV) Improves Lipid Levels Towards NCEP Recommendations: Primary Endpoint Results of a 24-week Randomised Study

At 96 Weeks, Epzicom and Truvada Demonstrate Comparable Efficacy, Safety, and Tolerability when Combined with Lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra)

GlaxoSmithKline Meta-analysis Does Not Show Elevated Cardiovascular Risk Associated with Use of abacavir (Ziagen, Epzicom)

More Data Demonstrate Similar Efficacy of Abacavir (Ziagen, Epzicom) and Tenofovir (Viread, Truvada)

Long-Term Efficacy and Safety of Abacavir/Lamivudine (ABC/3TC) with Fosamprenavir + Ritonavir Versus Lopinavir/Ritonavir (LPV/r) over 144 Weeks

Characterization of Virologic Failure Over 96 Weeks by Drug Resistance and Antiviral Response in ART Na´ve Patients Receiving Abacavir/Lamivudine (ABC/3TC) or Tenofovir/Emtricitabine (TDF/FTC) Each with Lopinavir/Ritonavir QD in the HEAT Study

Atazanavir/Ritonavir (ATV/r) + Abacavir/Lamivudine (ABC/3TC) in Antiretroviral (ART)-Na´ve, HIV-1 Infected, HLA-B*5701 Negative Subjects Demonstrates Efficacy and Safety: the ARIES Trial

Limb and Trunk Fat Changes by Total Body DEXA After 96 Weeks of Treatment with Once Daily (QD) Fosamprenavir (FPV) Boosted with either 100 mg or 200 mg of Ritonavir (/r) plus Abacavir (ABC)/Lamivudine(3TC): COL100758

Six Abacavir/Lamivudine (ABC/3TC) Clinical Trials Show Robust Virologic Responses in ART-Naive Patients for Baseline (BL) Viral Loads (VL) of .100,000 c/mL and <100,000 c/mL

Week 96 Virology Analysis of COL100758, a Study of Once-Daily (QD) Fosamprenavir (FPV) Boosted with 100 mg or 200 mg Ritonavir (/r) with Abacavir /Lamivudine (ABC/3TC) in Antiretroviral Na´ve HIV-infected Patients

Are Abacavir/lamivudine (Epzicom) and Tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) Equally Effective as NRTI Backbones? ACTG 5202 and HEAT Disagree

Are Abacavir/lamivudine (Epzicom) and Tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada) Equally Effective as NRTI Backbones? ACTG 5202 and HEAT Disagree

FDA Approves Updated Prescribing Information for Abacavir (Ziagen, Epzicom, Trizivir)

U.K. Guidelines Restore First-line Status to Epzicom (abacavir/lamivudine) but Include a Cautionary Note

NIAID Expresses Concerns about Potency of Abacavir/3TC (Epzicom) among Patients with High Viral Loads in ACTG Trial


What is Epzicom?

Epzicom is an anti-HIV medication in the category of HIV medicines called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Epzicom prevents HIV from altering the genetic material of healthy T-cells. This prevents the cells from producing new virus and decreases the amount of virus in the body.

Epzicom is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use by people living with HIV in August 2004.

Epzicom is a combination of two drugs: 600mg of Ziagen® (abacavir) and 300mg of Epivir® (3TC). Epzicom should be prescribed by a healthcare provider for patients who need both of these drugs. Both of these drugs can still be purchased individually for use in combination with other anti-HIV drugs.

The brand name "Epzicom" is an acronym for EPivir and ZIagen in COMbination.

Epzicom must be combined with at least one other anti-HIV drug, usually a protease inhibitor (PI) or a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI).

What is known about Epzicom?

Epzicom is a tablet taken once a day. It can be taken with or without food.

Epzicom should not be any more or less effective than Ziagen and Epivir taken as seperate pills together. However, it is considered to be a much more convenient way of taking these two anti-HIV drugs.

What about side effects?

An important side effect that doctors and patients need to be aware of is "hypersensitivity." Approximately 8% of people who take Ziagen® (abacavir), one of the two medications in Epzicom, are allergic to it. This can be serious and generally requires that Epzicom be stopped, and that Epzicom or Ziagen should not be taken again. A hypersensitivity reaction usually appears during the second week of therapy, but it can take as long as six weeks to notice any symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever and rash, followed by headaches, stomach upset, feeling sick or tired, sore throat, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms usually get worse over time and it is important that you report them to your doctor immediately. If you need to stop Epzicom because of this hypersensitivity reaction, you will still be able to take Epivir, the other drug in Epzicom.

Lactic acidosis, which can be fatal, and severe liver problems have been reported in people taking nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), including Ziagen and Epivir, the two active drugs in Epzicom. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience nausea, vomiting, or unusual or unexpected stomach discomfort; weakness and tiredness; shortness of breath; weakness in the arms and legs; yellowing of the skin or eyes; or pain in the upper stomach area.

Anti-HIV drug regimens containing nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), including Epzicom, can cause increased fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood, abnormal body-shape changes (lipodystrophy; including increased fat around the abdomen, breasts, and back of the neck, as well as decreased fat in the face, arms, and legs), and diabetes. These side effects of anti-HIV drug therapy are reviewed in our lessons on Lipodystrophy and Risks To Your Heart (Hyperlipidemia).

What about drug interactions?

It is believed that Epzicom can be safely taken at the same time as most drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS-related complications.

Epzicom should not be taken at the same time as Emtriva or Truvada (containing Viread and Emtriva). This is because the Epivir in Epzicom is very similar to Emtriva, and it is not believed that combining these two anti-HIV drugs will make a regimen any more effective against the virus.