Medically reviewed on May 8, 2018
What is abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine (Trizivir)?
Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine are antiviral medications that prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying in your body.
Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine (Trizivir) is a combination medicine used to treat HIV, which can cause the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Trizivir may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have 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.
You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in your blood. Call your doctor or get emergency medical help if you have unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, dizziness, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired.
Before taking this medicine
Do not take this medicine 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.
You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in your blood. This may be more likely if you have other medical conditions, if you've taken HIV medication for a long time, or if you are a woman. Ask your doctor about your risk.
Trizivir can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver, especially if you have hepatitis B or C.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
bone marrow suppression;
heart disease or high blood pressure; or
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.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, and use your medications properly to control your infection. HIV can be passed to your baby if the virus is not controlled during pregnancy. Your name may be listed on a registry to track any effects of antiviral medicine 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.
Trizivir should not be used to treat HIV in adolescents weighing less than 90 pounds.
How should I take Trizivir?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
You may take Trizivir with or without food.
Trizivir comes with a Medication Guide and a Warning Card listing symptoms of an allergic reaction. Read this information and learn what symptoms to watch for. Keep the Wallet Card with you at all times.
Use all HIV medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or dosing schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV should remain under the care of a doctor.
If you have ever had hepatitis B, this condition may come back or get worse after you stop taking Trizivir. You may need frequent blood tests to check your liver function for several months after you stop using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. 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.
What should I avoid while taking this medicine?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.
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.
This medicine 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 medicine, 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 can cause other serious side effects that may not be signs of an allergic reaction. Call your doctor at once if you have:
low white blood cell counts--fever, mouth sores, skin sores, sore throat, cough, trouble breathing;
low red blood cells (anemia)--pale skin, unusual tiredness, feeling light-headed or short of breath, cold hands and feet; or
liver problems--swelling around your midsection, right-sided upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Mild symptoms of lactic acidosis may worsen over time, and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have: unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, vomiting, irregular heart rate, dizziness, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired.
Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine affects your immune system, which may cause certain side effects (even weeks or months after you've taken this medicine). Tell your doctor if you have:
trouble speaking or swallowing, problems with balance or eye movement, weakness or prickly feeling; or
swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence.
Common side effects may include:
weakness or tiredness;
nausea, vomiting; or
changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).
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 this medicine?
Many drugs can affect abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about Trizivir (abacavir / lamivudine / zidovudine)
- Trizivir Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
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- Drug Interactions
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- Generic Availability
- Drug class: antiviral combinations