COMBIVIR (Lamivudine/Zidovudine)

COMBIVIR (Lamivudine/Zidovudine)

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What is this medication?

Lamivudine+Zidovudine, Combivir
Description: Antiretroviral, Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (Anti-HIV)

Lamivudine+Zidovudine, Combivir is indicated for treatment of HIV-1 infection.

“Alert: US Warning
Zidovudine has been associated with hematologic toxicity, including neutropenia and severe anemia in patients with advanced HIV-1 disease.  Prolonged use of zidovudine has been associated with symptomatic myopathy. Severe, acute exacerbation of hepatitis B has been reported in patients who are co-infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV-1.  Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis have been reported with using nucleoside analogues.”

How does this medication work? 

Combivir contains a combination of two drugs, lamivudine and zidovudine which are reverse transcriptase inhibitors.  Lamivudine and zidovudine work synergistically to inhibit reverse transcriptase via DNA chain termination after incorporating a nucleoside analogue.

How should I take this medication? 

Usual (Oral):  Take one tablet (lamivudine 150mg/zidovudine 300mg) twice daily.

How to Take Lamivudine+Zidovudine, Combivir:  Take without regard to meals.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before starting Lamivudine+Zidovudine, Combivir, make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, and activities you perform.  Lamivudine+Zidovudine, Combivir have been associated with hematologic toxicity, including neutropenia and severe anemia. Lamivudine+Zidovudine, Combivir can also cause lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly, lipoatrophy and myopathy. Lamivudine+Zidovudine, Combivir should be used with caution in patients with pancreatitis, hepatic and renal impairment.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times. Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C). Protect from light. Keep the container tightly closed. Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Headache, fatigue, malaise, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy, neuropathy, insomnia, sleep disorder, skin rash, nausea, diarrhea, pancreatitis, sore throat, vomiting, neutropenia, increased serum alanine aminotransferase, infection (ear, nose, throat), musculoskeletal pain, nasal signs and symptoms, cough, fever, dizziness, chills, depression, anorexia, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, skin rash, macrocytosis.

Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only the most common.