General Articles

Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine

U.S. BRAND NAMES — Trizivir®
PHARMACOLOGIC CATEGORY Antiretroviral Agent, Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (Nucleoside)
What key warnings should I know about before taking this medicine?
This medicine may cause liver damage and a change in the acid levels in the blood. Closely review the section in this leaflet which lists when to call healthcare provider. Pregnancy, obesity, and/or prolonged therapy may increase the risk.
Dangerous allergic reactions can occur. Tell healthcare provider about any fever, rash, feeling tired, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, belly pain, flu-like symptoms, sore throat, cough, or difficulty breathing. Do not restart this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction.
This medicine may cause muscle aches and stiffness if it is used for long periods of time. Closely review the section in this leaflet which lists when to call healthcare provider.
Please read the medication guide given to you.
REASONS NOT TO TAKE THIS MEDICINE If you have an allergy to abacavir, lamivudine, zidovudine, or any other part of this medicine. Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved. If you have liver disease. If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. If you are breast-feeding.
What is this medicine used for? This medicine is used to treat HIV infection.
How does it work? Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine work to injure the virus and fight the infection.
How is it best taken? To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses. Use prescription as directed, even if feeling better. Take this medicine with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital) Take a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose or extra doses. Do not change dose or stop medicine. Talk with healthcare provider.
What are the precautions when taking this medicine? If this medicine is stopped because you have an allergy to it, do not restart it. It can cause a much more dangerous effect if restarted. If this medicine is stopped for any other reason, do not restart it without talking to healthcare provider. It could be very dangerous to restart on your own. If medicine changes for HIV infection, make sure to ask healthcare provider about hepatitis B treatment. Wear disease medical alert identification. Do not run out of this medicine. Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines. If you have kidney disease, talk with healthcare provider. If you have liver disease, talk with healthcare provider. Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor). You may not be alert. Avoid driving, doing other tasks or activities until you see how this medicine affects you. To protect against sexually-transmitted diseases, use a latex condom. Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy while taking this medicine. Breast-feeding is not recommended in HIV disease.
What are some possible side effects of this medicine? Anemia and low white blood cell count. Headache. Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help. Diarrhea. Not hungry. Irritated pancreas can rarely occur.
What should I monitor? Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same? Check blood work regularly. Talk with healthcare provider. Follow up with healthcare provider.
REASONS TO CALL HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center immediately or dial 911. Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Allergic reaction (fever, rash, feeling tired, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, belly pain, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing, or flu-like symptoms). Stop medicine and talk with healthcare provider right away! Difficulty breathing. Severe belly pain. Severe nausea or vomiting. Severe diarrhea. Dark urine or yellow skin or eyes. Feeling extremely tired or weak. Any rash. No improvement in condition or feeling worse.
How should I store this medicine? Store at room temperature. Protect tablets from moisture. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
GENERAL STATEMENTS If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times. Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else’s medicine. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets. Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant). Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

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