Combivir is a combination of lamivudine (Epivir) and zidovudine (Retrovir), both components are active against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and inhibit the activity of reverse transcriptase blocking the production of DNA and new viruses. Separately zidovudine and lamivudine may not be so effective as their combination which makes it more difficult for HIV to produce high resistant strains.
Dosage and direction
Adults and children under 12 years of age should take Combivir once daily. Take the drug about the same time each day to avoid missing a dose. Food does not change absorption of the medication.
Combivir can affect the body's acid balance. It also can be a reason to low blood cell counts (anemia). Inform your doctor if you have an existing shortage of blood cells or a disease of the bone marrow before to start treatment with Combivir. Aggravation of chronic liver disease hepatitis B is possible when treatment with Combivir is finished as its virus causative agent becomes resistant to lamivudine. Combivir sometimes causes muscle pain and inflammation, especially inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). If you have abdominal pain for several days, accompanied by nausea and vomiting yo should immediately check with your doctor. Drugs for HIV may cause a redistribution of body fat: (a "buffalo hump" on the back, extra fat around the middle, and wasting in the arms, legs, and face).
Hypersensitivity to lamivudine or zidovudine. It cannot be used in people with low weigh (less than 110 pounds, or 50 kg). Children and patients with poor kidney or liver function who may require dose correction should not take tablets of Combivir as they contain fixed doses of amivudine or zidovudine.
Possible side effect
Serious side effects of Combivir are: decrease in blood cells, muscle breakdown, muscle pain (myopathy), liver enlargement and metabolic disturbance (lactic acidosis), allergy symptoms (rash, chills), nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, weight loss, headache, cough and insomnia.
Inform your doctor if you are takeing fluconazole (Diflucan), probenecid, trimethoprim (Trimpex) and valproic acid (Depakote). These drugs reduce the elimination of zidovudine and may lead to its increased blood concentration.
Never take a double dose of this medication. If it is almost time of the next dose just skip the missed portion and continue to take the medicine according to the schedule.
Any medication taken in excessive quantities may be dangerous. Notify your doctor immediately in case of a supposed overdose and experience dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, headache, fatigue, weakness, nausea, seizure, vomiting.
Combivir should be stored at room temperature between 2-30?C (36-86 F).
We provide only general information about medications which does not cover all directions, possible drug integrations, or precautions. Information at the site cannot be used for self-treatment and self-diagnosis. Any specific instructions for a particular patient should be agreed with your health care adviser or doctor in charge of the case. We disclaim reliability of this information and mistakes it could contain. We are not responsible for any direct, indirect, special or other indirect damage as a result of any use of the information on this site and also for consequences of self-treatment.