Abacavir Sulfate (a-BAK-a-vir SUL-fate), Lamivudine (la-MIV-ue-deen), Zidovudine (zye-DOE-vue-deen)
Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but these drugs may slow the progress of the disease.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to abacavir, lamivudine, or zidovudine or if you have liver disease or severe kidney disease.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- Do not let this medicine run out.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you also use atovaquone (Mepron®), cotrimoxazole (Bactrim®, Septra®), doxorubicin (Adriamycin®), fluconazole (Diflucan®), ganciclovir (Cytovene®), interferon-alfa (Intron®-A, Roferon®-A), methadone (Dolophine®), nelfinavir (Viracept®), probenecid (Benemid®, Probalan®), ribavirin (Copegus®, Rebetol®, Virazole®), ritonavir (Norvir®), stavudine (Zerit®), valproic acid (Depakene®), or zalcitabine (Hivid®).
- Do not take any other medicine containing abacavir, emtricitabine, lamivudine, or zidovudine, such as Atripla®, Combivir®, Complera?, Emtriva®, Epivir®, Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Retrovir®, Truvada®, or Ziagen®. Tell your doctor if you also use efavirenz (Sustiva®), rilpivirine (Edurant?), or tenofovir (Viread®).
- Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you have kidney problems, bone marrow disease, hepatitis B or C, a genetic condition (such as a gene variation called HLA-B*5701), muscle weakness, heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Tell your doctor if you smoke.
- You should not breastfeed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you might give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
- This medicine lowers the number of some types of blood cells in your body. Because of this, you may bleed or get infections more easily. To help with these problems, avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Wash your hands often. Stay away from rough sports or other situations where you could be bruised, cut, or injured. Brush and floss your teeth gently. Be careful when using sharp objects, including razors and fingernail clippers.
- Call your doctor right away if you have 2 or more of the following groups of symptoms. These may be signs of a life-threatening allergic reaction to the medicine:
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain
- Severe tiredness, aching, or general ill feeling
- Sore throat, trouble breathing, or cough
- Carry the Warning card with a list of allergic symptoms with you at all times. You should not use this medicine again if you have had an allergic reaction because it could be life-threatening.
- You should not stop using this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you stop using this medicine for any reason, do not start using it again without talking to your doctor.
- This medicine may cause a muscle disease called myopathy. Check with your doctor if you have muscle pain, swelling, tenderness, wasting, or weakness.
- Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health. Sometimes the immune system will start to fight infections that were hidden in your body, such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis.
- Lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood) and liver toxicity are rare but serious reactions to this medicine. These are more common if you are female, obese, or have been taking anti-HIV medicines for a long time. Call your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms: stomach pain; dark urine; decreased appetite; diarrhea; general feeling of discomfort; light-colored stools; muscle pain; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; trouble breathing; vomiting; or yellow eyes or skin.
- This medicine may cause changes to your body fat. Tell your doctor if you notice changes in your body shape, such as more fat in your upper back and neck or around your chest and stomach area. You may also lose fat from the legs, arms, and face.
- This medicine may increase your risk of a heart attack. This is more likely to occur if you smoke or already have heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol or fats in the blood. Call your doctor right away if you have chest pain or discomfort; nausea; pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back or neck; trouble breathing; sweating; or vomiting.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles with anyone.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Chest pain or pain in your arm, jaw, back, or neck
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools
- Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches
- Muscle pain or tenderness
- Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Trouble breathing
- Unusual bleeding, bruising, tiredness, or weakness
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Loss of appetite
- Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain
- Mild skin rash or itching
- Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist