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lamivudine and zidovudine (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking 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 a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking lamivudine and zidovudine. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, if you are a woman, or if you have taken HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

Lamivudine and zidovudine can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver. Tell your doctor if you have liver disease, especially hepatitis B.

Do not take Combivir with any other medicine that contains lamivudine or zidovudine, including: Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, or Trizivir.

To make sure you can safely take lamivudine and zidovudine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease;
  • bone marrow suppression; or
  • if you have used an HIV medication in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), emtricitabine (Atripla, Complera, Emtriva, Truvada), lamivudine (Epivir, Epzicom, Trizivir), stavudine (Zerit), tenofovir (Viread), or zidovudine (Retrovir).

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether lamivudine and zidovudine will harm an unborn baby. 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 during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of lamivudine and zidovudine 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.

Lamivudine and zidovudine should not be used to treat HIV in adolescents weighing less than 66 pounds.

How should I take lamivudine and zidovudine (Combivir)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Lamivudine and zidovudine can be taken with or without food.

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.

Lamivudine and zidovudine can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood clot. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. Your blood may need to be tested often. Visit your doctor regularly.

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.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

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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