Abacavir/lamivudine (By mouth)

Introduction

Abacavir Sulfate (a-BAK-a-vir SUL-fate), Lamivudine (la-MIV-ue-deen)

Treats HIV infection. HIV causes AIDS. This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs may slow the progress of the disease.

Brand Name(s)

Epzicom

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Ask your pharmacist for a copy if you do not have one.
  • Contact your doctor or pharmacist when your supply of this medicine is low. Do not allow yourself to run out of this medicine.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some foods and medicines can affect how abacavir/lamivudine works. Tell your doctor if you are using emtricitabine, interferon-alfa, methadone, or ribavirin.
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease (including hepatitis), diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Tell your doctor if you smoke.
  • Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Serious allergic reaction
    • Lactic acidosis
    • Liver problems
    • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Ask your pharmacist for a warning card that lists the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Carry the card with you at all times.
  • Do not stop using this medicine unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you stop the medicine even for a short time, the virus may become harder to treat or you may be more likely to have an allergic reaction.
  • Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. This could cause a hidden infection in your body to become active. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health.
  • This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to others. Always practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles or other items that may have blood or body fluids on them.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine 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, or red skin rash
  • Chest pain that may spread to your arms, jaw, back, or neck, unusual sweating
  • Dark urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fast breathing, trouble breathing, nausea and vomiting, lightheadedness, severe weakness, tiredness, or confusion
  • Fever, rash, cough, sore throat, diarrhea, joint or muscle aches

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

  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Headache, dizziness, trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/12/2016

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