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All about: Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine

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Generic name: Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine
Brand names: Trizivir

Why is Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine prescribed?

Trizivir combines three drugs used to fight HIV, the deadly virus that undermines the immune system, leaving the body ever more vulnerable to infection, and eventually leading to AIDS. The components of Trizivir are all members of the category of HIV drugs known as nucleoside analogs:

Abacavir (also called Ziagen)
Lamivudine (also called Epivir or 3TC)
Zidovudine (also called Retrovir, AZT, or ZDV)

Trizivir may be prescribed alone or in combination with other HIV drugs. It reduces the amount of HIV in the bloodstream, but does not completely cure the disease. You may still develop the rare infections and other complications that accompany HIV. Remember, too, that Trizivir does not reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

Most important fact about Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine

The abacavir (Ziagen) component of Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine which can cause a serious, possibly fatal allergic reaction. You should stop taking Trizivir and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, body aches, cough, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, fever, general ill feeling, nausea, shortness of breath, skin rash, severe peeling skin, sore throat, vomiting. These symptoms usually appear during the first 6 weeks of therapy, but may occur any time during treatment. If they do occur, do not take another dose of Trizivir until you've seen your doctor.

If you have to stop taking Trizivir because of this allergic reaction, you must never take Trizivir or Ziagen again. Once you've had such a reaction, taking either drug could lead to death within hours.

When your prescription for Trizivir is filled, the pharmacist will give you a "warning card" that lists the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Be sure to read it and to carry it with you.

How should you take Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine?

Trizivir is usually taken twice a day, with or without food. It is important to take the medication exactly as prescribed and not to miss any doses. Be sure to refill your prescription before your supply runs out. If HIV drugs are stopped for even a short time, the virus can increase rapidly and may become harder to treat.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule.

--Storage instructions...

Store Trizivir tablets at room temperature.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Trizivir.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, allergic reaction, blisters in the mouth or eyes, blood and lymph disorders, breast enlargement in males, chills, cough, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, enlarged spleen, fatigue, fever, hair loss, headache, heart problems, high blood sugar, hives, ill feeling, indigestion, inflamed blood vessels, insomnia and other sleep problems, joint pain, liver problems, loss of appetite, mouth inflammation, muscle pain or weakness, nasal symptoms, nausea, pain or tingling in the hands or feet, pancreatitis, redistribution of body fat, seizures, severe peeling skin, skin rash, vomiting, weakness, wheezing

Why should Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine not be prescribed?

Do not take Trizivir if you have ever had an allergic reaction to its abacavir component (either in Trizivir itself or as the drug Ziagen).

You also cannot take Trizivir if you weigh less than 90 pounds or have severe kidney disease

Special warnings about Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine

Trizivir has been known to cause liver problems and a serious medical condition called lactic acidosis. This condition is more likely to develop in women, people who are overweight, those at risk of liver disease, and patients who have been taking nucleoside analogs for a long time. Your doctor will perform blood tests to monitor for lactic acidosis. In addition, be alert for warning signs of the problem, such as persistent nausea and fatigue, and notify your doctor if they occur. Be sure to let your doctor know if you've had liver problems in the past. Trizivir is not recommended under these circumstances.

Treatment with Trizivir can cause serious blood disorders including anemia (low red blood cell count) and neutropenia (low white cell count). You will need to have frequent blood tests performed while you are taking Trizivir.

Prolonged treatment with Trizivir has the potential to cause diseases of the muscles. Be sure to tell your doctor about any muscle pain or weakness you experience.

If you also have the liver infection hepatitis B, there is a chance that it will get worse if treatment with Trizivir is discontinued.

Treatment with HIV drugs, including Trizivir, sometimes causes a redistribution of body fat, resulting in added weight around the waist, a "buffalo hump" of fat on the upper back, breast enlargement, and wasting of the face, arms, and legs. It's not known why this occurs, or what long-term effects it might have.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine

Do not combine Trizivir with Epivir, Combivir, Retrovir, or Ziagen, since these drugs contain ingredients in Trizivir. Also avoid Zerit while taking Trizivir.

In addition, if Trizivir is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either may be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Trizivir with the following:

Alcohol
Atovaquone (Mepron)
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil, Rubex)
Drugs used for bone marrow suppression and cancer therapy
Fluconazole (Diflucan)
Ganciclovir (Cytovene)
Interferon-alpha (Intron, Roferon)
Methadone
Nelfinavir (Viracept)
Probenecid (Benemid)
Ribavirin (Virazole)
Ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra)
Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)
Valproic acid (Depakene)
Zalcitabine (Hivid)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Trizivir has not been studied in pregnant women and should be used only if the benefit to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the developing baby.

Because the virus can be passed to a baby through breast milk, breastfeeding is not recommended for mothers with HIV.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

The recommended dose of Trizivir is 1 tablet twice daily with or without food.

CHILDREN

Trizivir is not intended for children and adolescents who weigh less than 90 pounds. Teenagers who weigh more than 90 pounds receive the adult dose.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Symptoms of Trizivir overdose may include:
    Confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, lack of energy, nausea, vomiting

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