What is this medication?
Antiretroviral, Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (Anti-HIV)
COMBIVIR, the combination of Lamivudine and Zidovudine, is indicated for the treatment of HIV infection.
Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues alone or in combination, including COMBIVIR (Lamivudine/Zidovudine) and other antiretrovirals. A majority of these cases have been in women. Obesity and prolonged nucleoside exposure may be risk factors. However, cases have also been reported in patients with no known risk factors. Treatment with the combination Lamivudine/Zidovudine should be suspended in any patient who develops clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis with or without hepatitis (which may include hepatomegaly and steatosis even in the absence of marked transaminase elevations).
Exacerbation of hepatitis B has been known to occur in patients with chronic HBV infection. It is recommended that all patients with HIV be tested for the presence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) before initiating antiretroviral therapy. Patients coinfected with HIV and HBV should be closely monitored with both clinical and laboratory follow-up for at least several months after stopping treatment with Lamivudine/Zidovudine.
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?
Oral: Take one tablet (lamivudine 150mg/zidovudine 300mg) twice daily.
How to Take: Take without regard to meals.
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Before starting COMBIVIR (Lamivudine/Zidovudine), make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, and activities you perform. The combination of Lamivudine/Zidovudine have been associated with hematologic toxicity, including neutropenia and severe anemia. Lamivudine/Zidovudine can also cause lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly, lipoatrophy and myopathy. Lamivudine/Zidovudine should be used with caution in patients with pancreatitis, hepatic and renal impairment.
What if I miss a dose?
If you forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you remember. Then continue as before.
How should I store this medication?
COMBIVIR (Lamivudine/Zidovudine) should be stored between 2°C and 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 for COMBIVIR (Lamivudine/Zidovudine), only common ones.