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Information
An Overview of Combivir (AZT/3TC)

April 17, 2015

Combivir

Brand Name: Combivir
Other Name(s): 3TC/ZDV
Drug Class: Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Approved Use: Treatment of HIV Infection


Chemical Images

lamivudine chemical image

lamivudine
Molecular Weight: 229.2589

zidovudine chemical image

zidovudine
Molecular Weight: 267.2437


WARNING:

Combivir can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood), liver problems, muscle weakness (myopathy), and blood disorders such as severe anemia (extremely reduced numbers of red blood cells) or neutropenia (reduced numbers of white blood cells).

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of lactic acidosis:

Contact your health care provider if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of serious liver problems:

Contact your health care provider right away if you have muscle weakness.

Combivir can cause blood disorders such as severe anemia (extremely reduced numbers of red blood cells) or neutropenia (reduced numbers of white blood cells). Your health care provider may follow your blood count closely while you are taking Combivir.

Combivir is not approved for the treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. If you have both HIV and HBV infection and take Combivir, your HBV infection may get worse (flare up) if you stop taking Combivir.

While taking Combivir, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.


What Is Combivir?

Combivir is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children weighing more than 30 kg. Combivir is always used in combination with other HIV medicines.

Combivir contains the following two different medicines combined in one pill:

Combivir belongs to a class (group) of HIV drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTIs block an HIV enzyme called reverse transcriptase. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking reverse transcriptase, the two drugs in Combivir prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.

HIV medicines can't cure HIV/AIDS, but taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV treatment regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

If you are taking HIV medicines, including Combivir, don't cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to.


What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Combivir?

Before taking Combivir, tell your health care provider:


How Should I Take Combivir?

Combivir comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains:

Take Combivir according to your health care provider's instructions.

Always take Combivir in combination with other HIV medicines. Take Combivir with or without food.

If you take too much Combivir, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For more information on how to take Combivir, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)


What Should I Do if I Forget a Dose?

If you miss a dose of Combivir, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.


What Side Effects Can Combivir Cause?

Combivir can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood), liver problems, muscle weakness (myopathy), and blood disorders such as severe anemia (extremely reduced numbers of red blood cells) or neutropenia (reduced numbers of white blood cells). (See the WARNING above.)

Other possible side effects of Combivir include:

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Combivir. To learn more about possible side effects of Combivir, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.

The AIDSinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects also includes information that may apply to Combivir.

You can also report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/.


How Should Combivir Be Stored?


Where Can I Find More Information About Combivir?

More information about Combivir is available:


Manufacturer Information

ViiV Healthcare
877-844-8872

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet.




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