Generic Name: abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine (a BACK a veer, la MIV yoo deen, zye DOE vyoo deen)
Brand Name: Trizivir
What is abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine (Trizivir)?
Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine are antiviral medications that prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
The combination of abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medication is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine (Trizivir)?
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: fever; rash; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain; general ill feeling, extreme tiredness, body aches; shortness of breath, cough, sore throat.
Once you have had an allergic reaction to this medication, you must never use it again.
Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking Trizivir. Early symptoms may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
This medication can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms while taking Trizivir: pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking Trizivir, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using the medication. Visit your doctor regularly.
Do not allow your medicine to run out completely before you get your prescription refilled. It is important that you not stop taking Trizivir once you have started. If you miss several doses, you may have a dangerous or even fatal allergic reaction once you start taking the medication again. If you stop taking Trizivir for any reason, talk to your doctor before you start taking it again.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking this medication?
Do not take this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Trizivir or any medicine that contains abacavir, lamivudine, or zidovudine, including: Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, or Ziagen. Once you have had an allergic reaction to abacavir, you must never use it again.
Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking Trizivir. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, if you are a woman, or if you have taken HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
This medication can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver. You should not take this medication if you have liver disease, especially hepatitis B or C.
Do not take Trizivir with any of the following HIV medications: Atripla, Combivir, Complera, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, Truvada, Zerit, or Ziagen.
To make sure you can safely take Trizivir, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
bone marrow suppression;
heart disease or high blood pressure;
a risk factor for heart disease such as smoking, diabetes, or high cholesterol; or
if you have used an HIV medication in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), emtricitabine (Atripla, Complera, Emtriva, Truvada), lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom), stavudine (Zerit), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), or zidovudine (Retrovir).
You may need a blood test before you start taking Trizivir for the first time, or if you are restarting the medication after stopping for reasons not related to an allergic reaction.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether this medication will harm an unborn baby. HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.
Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.
Trizivir should not be used to treat HIV in adolescents weighing less than 90 pounds.
How should I take this medication?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
You may take Trizivir with or without food.
Trizivir comes with a Medication Guide and a Warning Card that lists the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Read this information carefully and carry the Warning Card with you at all times so you will know what symptoms to watch for.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.
While using Trizivir, you may need blood tests at your doctor's office. If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using the medication. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
Do not allow your medicine to run out completely before you get your prescription refilled. It is important that you not stop taking the medicine once you have started. If you miss several doses, you may have a dangerous or even fatal allergic reaction once you start taking this medication again.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Overdose symptoms may include some of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.
What should I avoid while taking this medication?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.
Taking Trizivir will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.
This medication side effects
Stop using Trizivir and call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction from two or more of these specific side effect groups:
Group 1 - fever;
Group 2 - rash;
Group 3 - nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
Group 4 - general ill feeling, extreme tiredness, body aches;
Group 5 - shortness of breath, cough, sore throat.
Once you have had an allergic reaction to this medication, you must never use it again. If you stop taking Trizivir for any reason, talk to your doctor before you start taking it again.
Trizivir may cause lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and get worse over time. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
Trizivir can cause other serious side effects that may not be signs of an allergic reaction. Call your doctor at once if you have:
the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
signs of a new infection such as flu symptoms, easy bruising or unusual bleeding, loss of appetite, mouth sores;
severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back;
pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
increased sweating, tremors in your hands, anxiety, feeling irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);
diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex;
swelling in your neck or throat (goiter);
problems with walking, breathing, speech, swallowing, or eye movement;
severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control; or
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder.
Less serious side effects may include:
headache, joint pain, depression, nervousness;
cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sinus pain;
mild nausea or diarrhea; or
changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk);
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for HIV Infection:
1 tablet orally every 12 hours
Usual Adult Dose for Nonoccupational Exposure:
(Not approved by FDA)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours
Duration: 28 days
Prophylaxis should be initiated as soon as possible, within 72 hours of exposure. An alternative regimen recommended for nonoccupational postexposure HIV prophylaxis includes abacavir plus lamivudine plus zidovudine. This triple nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) regimen is recommended only when a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based or a protease inhibitor (PI)-based regimen cannot or should not be used.
Usual Pediatric Dose for HIV Infection:
Adolescents, 40 kg or more: 1 tablet orally every 12 hours
This fixed-dose tablet is not recommended for adolescents who weigh less than 40 kg.
What other drugs will affect this medication?
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
antiviral medication such as ganciclovir (Cytovene) or ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetron, Virazole);
methadone (Diskets, Dolophine, Methadose);
a cancer medicine such as doxorubicin (Adriamycn);
interferon (Actimmune, Alferon, Avonex, Betaseron, Extavia, Infergen, Intron, Rebetron, Rebif); or
a sulfa drug (Bactrim, Septra, SMX-TMP).
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Trizivir. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
More about abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine
- Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine
- Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine (Advanced Reading)
- Other brands: Trizivir
- Abacavir, Lamivudine and ZidovudineTablets (FDA)
- Abacavir Sulfate/Lamivudine/Zidovudine (Wolters Kluwer)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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