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Alcohol and meds
Mar 10, 2002

I never miss a dose of Combivir -- so adherence is not a problem. But I occasionally take a dose on a relatively empty smomach and with several alcoholic drinks (3 or 4). I'm aware of the potential for toxicity and liver and pancreas problems. What I'd like to know is whether taking these drugs with alcohol reduces their antiretroviral activity in any way. (I'm taking lamivudine and zidovudine as PEP, 11 doses so far.) PLEASE answer, I'm scared.

Response from Dr. Henry

Modest use of alcohol (1-2 drinks) is OK with Combivir for most patients. 3-4 drinks on a regular basis is harder on the liver and pancreas. Short-term use of Combivir rarely causes liver or pancreas problems. My advice is limit drinks to 1-2 for general safety issues. You problably would be OK with 3-4 drinks but I would not advise it. KH

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