Meningitis: What It Is and How to Avoid It Watch Video

Combivir

Pronunciation

Generic Name: lamivudine and zidovudine (la MIV ue deen and zye DOE vue deen)
Brand Name: Combivir

What is lamivudine and zidovudine?

Lamivudine and zidovudine are antiviral medications that prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.

Lamivudine and zidovudine is a combination medicine used used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

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 lamivudine and zidovudine?

Do not take this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine that contains lamivudine or zidovudine.

Zidovudine can weaken your immune system and cause signs of infection (fever, mouth sores, skin sores, flu symptoms, pale skin). Your blood will need to be tested often. Long-term use of zidovudine can cause muscle weakness, or loss of muscle tissue similar to "wasting syndrome" caused by HIV.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

This medicine may cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis. 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.

If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking medicine that contains lamivudine. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using lamivudine and zidovudine.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lamivudine and zidovudine?

Do not take this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine that contains lamivudine, zidovudine, or emtricitabine. This includes Atripla, Combivir, Complera, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, Stribild, Trizivir, and Truvada.

Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking lamivudine and zidovudine. 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.

Lamivudine and zidovudine can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver. Tell your doctor if you have liver disease, especially hepatitis B.

Do not take Combivir with any other medicine that contains lamivudine, zidovudine, or emtricitabine. This includes Atripla, Combivir, Complera, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, Stribild, Trizivir, and Truvada.

To make sure you can safely take lamivudine and zidovudine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;

  • pancreas disorder (especially in a child taking this medicine); or

  • if you take ribavirin to treat hepatitis C.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether lamivudine and zidovudine 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.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of lamivudine and zidovudine on the baby.

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.

Lamivudine and zidovudine should not be used to treat HIV in adolescents weighing less than 66 pounds.

How should I take lamivudine and zidovudine?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Lamivudine and zidovudine can be taken with or without food.

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.

Lamivudine and zidovudine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often.

If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking medicine that contains lamivudine. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using lamivudine and zidovudine.

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.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking lamivudine and zidovudine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

Taking this medicine will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share 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.

Lamivudine and zidovudine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Early symptoms of lactic acidosis may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms: 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.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • low white blood cell counts--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;

  • low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Lamivudine and zidovudine may increase your risk of certain infections or autoimmune disorders by changing the way your immune system works. Symptoms may occur weeks or months after you start treatment with lamivudine and zidovudine. Tell your doctor if you have:

  • signs of a new infection--fever, night sweats, swollen glands, mouth sores, diarrhea, stomach pain, weight loss;

  • chest pain (especially when you breathe), dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;

  • cold sores, sores on your genital or anal area;

  • rapid heart rate, feeling anxious or irritable, weakness or prickly feeling, problems with balance or eye movement;

  • trouble speaking or swallowing, severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control; or

  • swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • nausea, diarrhea;

  • tiredness, general ill feeling;

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sinus pain, cough; 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)

What other drugs will affect lamivudine and zidovudine?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with lamivudine and zidovudine, especially:

  • doxorubicin;

  • ganciclovir;

  • interferon alfa (Alferon A, Infergen, Intron A, Rebetron);

  • ribavirin;

  • stavudine; or

  • zalcitabine.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with lamivudine and zidovudine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about 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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 10.02. Revision Date: 2014-09-15, 10:06:01 AM.

Hide
(web4)