Medically reviewed: March 22, 2017
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 using this medicine 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 medicine, you must never use it again.
Trizivir can weaken your immune system. Your blood may need to be tested often.
This medicine may also 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 ever had hepatitis B, this condition may come back or get worse after you stop taking Trizivir.
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.
Some people taking Trizivir develop a serious condition called lactic acidosis. This may be more likely in women, in people who are overweight or have liver disease, and in people who have taken HIV/AIDS medication for a long time. Talk with 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.
To make sure Trizivir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
bone marrow suppression;
liver disease (especially if you also use ribavirin or interferon alfa);
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.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. But 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. 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 Trizivir?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
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.
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.
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 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 medicine 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:
the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how mild;
low white blood cells--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, 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).
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.
Trizivir 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 Trizivir. Tell your doctor if you have:
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:
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 interact with abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide. Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine. Give a list of all your medicines to any healthcare provider who treats you.
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)
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- Drug class: antiviral combinations