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lamivudine and zidovudine

Pronunciation: la MIV ue deen and zye DOE vue deen

Brand: Combivir

Combivir

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What is the most important information I should know about lamivudine and zidovudine?

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

What is lamivudine and zidovudine?

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.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lamivudine and zidovudine?

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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.

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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.

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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).
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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.

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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?

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.

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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.

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Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while taking lamivudine and zidovudine?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

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Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

What are the possible side effects of lamivudine and zidovudine?

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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.

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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.

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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 other drugs will affect lamivudine and zidovudine?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • antiviral medication such as ganciclovir (Cytovene) or ribavirin (Copegus, Rebetron, Virazole);
  • a cancer medicine such as doxorubicin (Adriamycn);
  • interferon (Actimmune, Alferon, Avonex, Betaseron, Extavia, Infergen, Intron, Rebetron, Rebif); or
  • a sulfa drug (Bactrim, Septra, SMX-TMP).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with lamivudine and zidovudine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about lamivudine and zidovudine.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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