Why is this medication prescribed?
The combination of lamivudine and zidovudine is used along with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Lamivudine and zidovudine are in a class of medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). They work by decreasing the amount of HIV in the blood. Although the combination of lamivudine and zidovudine does not cure HIV, it may decrease your chance of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as serious infections or cancer. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other life-style changes may decrease the risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to other people.
How should this medicine be used?
The combination of lamivudine and zidovudine comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice a day with or without food. To help you remember to take this medication, take it around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take this medication exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Lamivudine and zidovudine controls HIV infection but does not cure it. Continue to take lamivudine and zidovudine even if you feel well. Do not stop taking lamivudine and zidovudine without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking lamivudine and zidovudine,
tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to lamivudine (Epivir, Epivir HBV); zidovudine (Retrovir); lamivudine, zidovudine, and abacavir (Trizivir); or any other medications.
you should know that lamivudine and zidovudine are also available individually with the brand names Epivir, Epivir HBV, and Retrovir, and in another combination as Trizivir. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medications, to be sure you do not receive the same medication twice.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: acetaminophen (Tylenol), acyclovir (Zovirax), atovaquone (Mepron), cancer chemotherapy drugs, cidofovir (Vistide), dapsone (Avlosulfon), didanosine (ddI, Videx), doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Rubex), fluconazole (Diflucan), foscarnet (Foscavir), ganciclovir (Cytovene, Vitrasert), interferon alpha (Alferon N, Infergen, Intron A, Roferon A), interferon beta-1b (Betaseron), methadone, nelfinavir (Viracept), probenecid (Benemid, Probalan), ribavarin (Rebetol, Virazole), rifabutin (Mycobutin), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), ritonavir (Norvir), stavudine (Zerit), trimethoprim (Trimpex, Proloprim ), trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra), valproic acid (Depakene, Depakote), and zalcitabine (ddC, Hivid). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
in addition to the conditions listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease.
tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking lamivudine and zidovudine, call your doctor. You should not breast-feed while taking lamivudine and zidovudine.
you should be aware that your body fat may increase or move to different areas of your body, such as your breasts and your upper back.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Lamivudine and zidovudine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
loss of appetite
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Some side effects can be serious. The following side effects are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, or any of those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
difficulty breathing or swallowing
numbness, tingling, or burning in your fingers or toes
Lamivudine and zidovudine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking lamivudine and zidovudine.