An Overview of Trizivir (AZT/3TC/Abacavir)
April 7, 2017
Brand Name: Trizivir
Trizivir can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include allergic reactions, 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).
Trizivir contains abacavir, an HIV medicine. People who take abacavir-containing products may have a serious allergic reaction (hypersensitivity reaction) that can cause death. Your risk of this allergic reaction is much higher if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701. Your health care provider can determine with a blood test if you have this gene variation. If you get a symptom from two or more of the following groups while taking Trizivir, contact your health care provider right away to find out if you should stop taking Trizivir.
Your pharmacist will give you a Medication Guide and Warning Card with a list of these symptoms. Carry this Warning Card with you at all times. If you stop Trizivir because of an allergic reaction, never take Trizivir or any other abacavir-containing medicine again. If you take Trizivir or any other abacavir-containing medicine again after you have had an allergic reaction, within hours you may get life-threatening symptoms that may include very low blood pressure or death. If you stop Trizivir for any other reason, even for a few days, and you are not allergic to Trizivir, talk with your health care provider before taking it again. Taking Trizivir again can cause a serious allergic or life-threatening reaction, even if you never had an allergic reaction to Trizivir before. If your health care provider tells you that you can take Trizivir again, start taking it when you are around medical help or people who can call a health care provider if you need one.
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 right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems:
Contact your health care provider right away if you have muscle weakness.
Trizivir can cause blood disorders such as severe anemia (extremely reduced numbers of red blood cells) or neutropenia (reduced numbers of white blood cells). Your doctor may follow your blood count closely while you are taking Trizivir.
If you have both HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and take Trizivir, your HBV infection may get worse (flare up) if you stop taking Trizivir. But do not stop taking Trizivir without first talking to your health care provider. If your health care provider tells you to stop Trizivir, you will be monitored closely for several months to check your HBV infection, or you may receive a medicine to treat your HBV infection.
Worsening of liver disease (sometimes resulting in death) has occurred in people infected with both HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) who were taking HIV medicines and also being treated for HCV infection with interferon alfa with or without ribavirin. If you are taking Trizivir as well as interferon with or without ribavirin and you experience side effects, tell your health care provider.
While taking Trizivir, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.
What Is Trizivir?
Trizivir is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults, adolescents and children who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kilograms). Trizivir can be used alone as a complete treatment regimen or with other HIV medicines.
Trizivir contains the following three different medicines combined in one pill:
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 three drugs in combination 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 regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Trizivir?
Before taking Trizivir, tell your health care provider:
How Should I Take Trizivir?
Trizivir comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains:
Take Trizivir according to your health care provider's instructions.
Trizivir should be taken by mouth, with or without food.
If you take too much Trizivir, 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 Trizivir, 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 Trizivir, 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 Trizivir Cause?
Trizivir may cause side effects. Most side effects from Trizivir are manageable, but a few can be serious. Serious side effects of Trizivir include allergic reactions, 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 box above.)
Other possible side effects of Trizivir 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 Trizivir. To learn more about possible side effects of Trizivir, 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 Trizivir.
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 Trizivir Be Stored?
Where Can I Find More Information About Trizivir?
More information about Trizivir is available:
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet (film coated).
This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.