What is COMBIVIR?
COMBIVIR is the brand name of a pill that combines lamivudine
and zidovudine. These two drugs can be used with
other medicines to treat HIV.
is the human immunodeficiency virus. It causes
slows HIV from making more copies of itself. This
can keep the virus from infecting new cells. It
can lower the amount of HIV in your body. Your
CD4 cell count can increase with the lowering
of the HIV virus.
two drugs together are stronger against the virus
than either one alone. COMBIVIR should be taken
with other HIV drugs.
can be part of many treatments now used to fight
How COMBIVIR Works
can COMBIVIR do for you?
keep viral load DOWN
keep CD4 cell count UP by lowering the viral
you to avoid certain infections and cancers
often linked to HIV
things you should know about COMBIVIR:
your pill schedule simpler
you stick to your schedule
be taken with or without food
keep your treatment options open
with many other HIV drugs, giving your doctor
many treatment choices
only one co-pay for two drugs
Side Effects of COMBIVIR
important to know that serious side effects can
occur with COMBIVIR,
such as a decrease in red and white blood cells
and muscle damage. A buildup of lactic acid and
an enlarged liver, including fatal cases, have
been reported rarely with some HIV drugs, including
HIV-infected individuals, periodic blood tests
are recommended. If certain changes occur in your
laboratory results while you are taking COMBIVIR,
particularly if you become anemic or if your white
blood cell count falls too low, your medication
may need to be adjusted; your doctor may prescribe
EPIVIR plus RETROVIR separately in place of COMBIVIR.
patients infected with both hepatitis B virus
(HBV) and HIV have worsening of hepatitis after
stopping lamivudine (a component of COMBIVIR).
Discuss any change in treatment with your doctor.
If you have both HBV and HIV and stop treatment
with COMBIVIR, you should be closely monitored
by your doctor for at least several months.
of liver disease (sometimes resulting in death)
has occurred in patients infected with both HIV
and hepatitis C virus who are taking anti-HIV
medicines and are also being treated for hepatitis
C with interferon with or without ribavirin. If
you are taking COMBIVIR as well as interferon
with or without ribavirin and you experience side
effects, be sure to tell your doctor.
you start taking HIV medicines, your immune system
may get stronger and could begin to fight infections
that have been hidden in your body, such as pneumonia,
herpes virus or tuberculosis. If you have new
symptoms after starting your HIV medicines, be
sure to talk with your doctor.
in body fat may occur in some patients taking
antiretroviral therapy. These changes may include
an increased amount of fat in the upper back and
neck (buffalo hump), breast, and around
the trunk. Loss of fat from the legs, arms and
face may also occur. The cause and long-term health
effects of these conditions are not known at this
clinical studies of lamivudine plus zidovudine,
side effects occurring in 5% or more of patients
included: headache, upset stomach, weakness and
fatigue, and nasal symptoms.
your doctor promptly about any side effects or
other unusual symptoms you may experience. Although
it may make you healthier, COMBIVIR does not cure
Will COMBIVIR work the
same as EPIVIR and RETROVIR taken together?
one COMBIVIR Tablet twice a day is the same as
taking one EPIVIR 150 mg Tablet twice a day and
either two RETROVIR 100 mg Capsules three times
a day or one RETROVIR 300 mg Tablet twice a day.
What should I do if I
miss a dose of COMBIVIR?
you miss a dose by more than 4 hours, wait and
then take the next dose at the regularly scheduled
time. However, if you miss a dose by less than
4 hours, take your missed dose immediately. Then
take your next dose at the regularly scheduled
time. Do not take more or less than your prescribed
dose of COMBIVIR at any one time.
Who should not take COMBIVIR?
should not take COMBIVIR if you have had a serious
allergic reaction to either lamivudine (also known
as EPIVIR or 3TC) or zidovudine (also known as
RETROVIR or ZDV).
not take COMBIVIR at the same time as EPIVIR or
RETROVIR, or TRIZIVIR® (abacavir sulfate/lamivudine/zidovudine),
because they also contain lamivudine and zidovudine.
Individual dosing with EPIVIR plus RETROVIR, rather
than COMBIVIR, should be considered for:
child under 12 years of age.
who requires dosage adjustments due to drug
side effects or poor kidney function.
you are 65 years of age or over, consult your
healthcare professional about the functioning
of your liver, kidneys, and heart; about other
illnesses you may suffer from, and about any other
medications you may be taking. It is possible
that the dosage may need to be modified.
Can COMBIVIR be taken
with other medications?
COMBIVIR can be taken with most other medications,
including most anti-HIV drugs. Be sure to tell
your doctor about all medications, over-the-counter
or prescription, that you are taking.
How should I store COMBIVIR
Tablets may be stored at room temperature and
do not require refrigeration.