Abacavir/Lamivudine/Zidovudine (Oral)

Abacavir/Lamivudine/Zidovudine (By Mouth)

Abacavir (a-BAK-a-veer), Lamivudine (la-MI-vyoo-deen), Zidovudine (zye-DOE-vyoo-deen)

Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs may slow progress of the disease.

Brand Name(s):
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 (Epivirreg;, Combivirreg;), or zidovudine (Retrovirreg;, AZT).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.  
  • Never share your medicine with anyone.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take 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 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  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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.

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 are also using cotrimoxazole (Septrareg;, Bactrimreg;), ganciclovir (Cytovenereg;), interferon alfa, methadone, stavudine (Zeritreg;), doxorubicin (Adriamycinreg;), or ribavirin (Virazolereg;). Do not take any other medicine containing abacavir, lamivudine, or zidovudine (Ziagenreg;, Epivirreg;, Retrovirreg;, Combivirreg;).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or bone marrow disease.  
  • You should not breastfeed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you may give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.  
  • Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you notice a skin rash, or 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:       o Fever       o Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain       o Severe tiredness, aching, or general ill feeling       o Sore throat, shortness of breath, or cough  
  • Ask your pharmacist for a Medication Guide and a Warning Card listing the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Carry the card with you at all times.  
  • If you must stop taking this medicine because of an allergic reaction, you should never use the medicine again. A worse reaction, possibly even death, may occur if you take the medicine again. Return the unused medicine to your doctor or pharmacist.  
  • 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.

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, red skin rash  
  • Extreme weakness, tiredness, or confusion  
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet  
  • Rapid breathing or trouble breathing, nausea and vomiting  
  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet  
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness  
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping  
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite  
  • Unusual weight gain or increased fat in some parts of your body

Johns Hopkins patient information

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 16.02.
Revision date: July 7, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

The drug reference included in this section is provided by Cerner Multum, Inc., of Denver, Colorado. Armenian Medical Network receives monthly updates from Multum.