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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.

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

Lamivudine and zidovudine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Combivir

oblong, white, imprinted with GXFC3

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:

  • signs of a new infection such as fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • increased sweating, tremors in your hands, anxiety, feeling irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);
  • diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex;
  • swelling in your neck or throat (goiter);
  • problems with walking, breathing, speech, swallowing, or eye movement;
  • weakness or prickly feeling in your fingers or toes;
  • severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control;
  • liver problems--upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • pancreatitis--severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate; or
  • severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • mild nausea or diarrhea;
  • 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.

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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