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my regimen
May 4, 2008

I took Viramune+Ziagen+Epivir for more than a year, and took them twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. Recently my doctor gave me Kivexa. When is correct to take the Kivexa pill, in the morning with the Viramune in a twice a day regimen, or at noon, separately, so I have to take for three times in a day? Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. DeJesus

Kivexa (Epzicom) is a combination of Ziagen (abacavir) and Epivir (3TC, lamivudine). Your doctor is right by changing your Ziagen + Epivir to a coformulation of these two pills that is easier to take with less pill burden. Kivexa, like its individual components, and like Viramune as well, can be taken with or without food. Certainly, Kivexa can be taken at the same time that with Viramune. In fact, that was the reason why your doctor changed your regimen, to make things easier for you, and not to complicate it with a 3 times daily regimen. So take the Kivexa with one of the doses of Viramune you take either in the morning or at night. Most patients prefer to taken them in the morning.

On a side note: you may want to discuss with your doctor changing also the Viramune to once a day. Viramune was approved for a twice a day dose, but pharmacokinetic studies had well supported that this drug can be given once daily, as 2 tabs once a day at the same time (in your case taken them with the Kivexafor a total of 3 pills once daily). This is ok to do it in patients that have been taking the Viramune for several months without problems and that have an undetectable viral load. Because this dose schedule is not approved by the FDA yet, many providers are hesitant to recommend this to their patients, but at least you can discuss it with your provider if you are interested in a once a day regimen. Good luck!



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