Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Epzicom
Generic Name: abacavir and lamivudine (Pronunciation: a BAK a veer and la MIV yoo deen)
What is abacavir and lamivudine (Epzicom)?
Abacavir and lamivudine are antiviral medications that prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Abacavir and lamivudine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
oval, orange, imprinted with GS FC2
What are the possible side effects of abacavir and lamivudine (Epzicom)?
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction from two or more of these specific side effect groups:
Once you have had an allergic reaction to this medication, you must never use it again. If you stop taking abacavir and lamivudine for any reason, talk to your doctor before you start taking it again.
This medication 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.
Abacavir and lamivudine can cause serious side effects that may not be signs of an allergic reaction. Call your doctor at once if you have:
Less serious side effects include:
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.
What is the most important information I should know about abacavir and lamivudine (Epzicom)?
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 abacavir, you must never use it again.
Read the Warning Card that comes with this medication, and carry it with you at all times so you will know the symptoms of allergic reaction to watch for.
Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking abacavir and lamivudine. 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.
Abacavir and lamivudine 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 this medication: 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 this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using abacavir and lamivudine. 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 abacavir and lamivudine once you have started. If you miss several doses, you may have a dangerous or even fatal allergic reaction once you start taking the medicine again. If you stop taking abacavir and lamivudine for any reason, talk to your doctor before you start taking the medication again.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Resources for Staying Well
- HIV-AIDS: Myths and Facts
- Understanding The Symptoms of AIDS/HIV
- The Top 10 Myths About HIV and AIDS
- How Well Are You Living With AFib?
- How Well Are You Managing Your MS?
- Soothe Your Child's Cold or Flu