Abacavir, Lamivudine, and Zidovudine

pronounced as (a bak' a vir) (la miv' ue deen) (zye doe' vue deen )

Brand Name(s): Trizivir® (as a combination product containing Abacavir, Lamivudine, and Zidovudine), also available generically

Why is this medicine prescribed?

The combination of abacavir, lamivudine and zidovudine is used alone or along with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Abacavir, lamivudine and zidovudine are in a class of medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). They work by decreasing the amount of HIV in the blood. Although the combination of abacavir, lamivudine and zidovudine does not cure HIV, it may decrease your chance of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as serious infections or cancer. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other lifestyle changes may decrease the risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to other people.

Are there other uses for this medicine?

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How should this medicine be used?

The combination of abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food two times a day. Take abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine helps to control HIV infection but does not cure it. Continue to take abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine, or skip doses, your condition may become more difficult to treat, or you could have an allergic reaction when restarting the medication (See Important Warning section).

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine tablets. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take while taking abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you smoke or drink alcohol, or if you have or have ever had any of the conditions mentioned in the IMPORTANT WARNING section; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; diabetes; or heart or kidney disease.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine, call your doctor. You should not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV or if you are taking abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine.
  • you should be aware that your body fat may increase or move to different areas of your body, such as your upper back, neck (''buffalo hump''), breasts, and around your stomach. You may notice a loss of body fat from your face, legs, and arms.
  • you should know that while you are taking medications to treat HIV infection, your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight other infections that were already in your body or cause other conditions to occur. This may cause you to develop symptoms of those infections or conditions. If you have new or worsening symptoms during your treatment with abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine, be sure to tell your doctor.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What should I do in case of overdose?

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help . If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • headache
  • vomiting
  • extreme tiredness

What side effects can this medicine cause?

Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • headache

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the symptoms listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment.

Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p ) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

Keep a supply of abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine on hand. Do not wait until you run out of medication to refill your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

subscribe section background