Medications and Drugs
Brand Names: Combivir
Generic Name: lamivudine and zidovudine (Pronunciation: la MIV ue deen and zye DOE vue deen)
What is lamivudine and zidovudine (Combivir)?
Lamivudine and zidovudine are antiviral medications that prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.
Lamivudine and zidovudine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
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What are the possible side effects of lamivudine and zidovudine (Combivir)?
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.
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.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:
Less serious side effects may 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 lamivudine and zidovudine (Combivir)?
Do not take this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Combivir or any medicine that contains lamivudine, zidovudine, or emtricitabine, including: Atripla, Complera, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, Trizivir, or Truvada.
Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking lamivudine and zidovudine. 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, slow 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 lamivudine and zidovudine: pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Lamivudine and zidovudine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood clot. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.
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.
Do not take Combivir with any other medicine that contains lamivudine or zidovudine, including: Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, or Trizivir.
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.
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Resources for Staying Well
- HIV-AIDS: Myths and Facts
- Understanding The Symptoms of AIDS/HIV
- The Top 10 Myths About HIV and AIDS
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