The combination of Lamivudine and zidovudine is known under the brand name Combivir and is used for the treatment of HIV. As for the efficiency and endurance, it gives best results when taken together rather than separately.
It is an antiviral drug that impedes the development of HIV cells in the human body. If it is remains unnoticed, the virus cells may lead to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The generic version of Combivir gives the same result, but costs much less.
Combivir is used for reducing the viral burden in the body by increasing the white blood cell count. They belong to the group of antiretroviral medicines called Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (RTI), used for the treatment of infection caused by the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
The drug acts by preventing the activity of an enzyme, reverse transcriptase which cause the growth of the virus. This drug may be also used to prevent hepatitis B.
Take the medicine irrespective of the mealtime. However, it is usually combined with other drugs for the treatment of HIV. Combivir is available in liquid and oral form. The most recommended dosage for patients weighing 30kg or more is 1 pill (150mg of lamivudine and zidovudine) in double the quantity which is 300 mg taken twice a day.
Liquid form of Combivir is intended for kids who find it difficult to swallow the pill. Patients using this drug for the treatment of HIV must not change the dose without the doctor’s approval, as the pill may reduce the blood cells allowing the patients to fight infections.
Some adverse effects may occur in the initial stage of treatment and go away with time. They include:
- head pain,
Serious adverse effects include:
- pain in the throat,
- breast pain,
- night perspiration,
- increased heart rate,
- sharp weight loss.
If you note any of these adverse effects, you should immediately consult the doctor, as it can enhance the risk of infections developed during the treatment with lamivudine and zidovudine. Contact your doctor immediately if you suffer from such breathing difficulty, fatigue or numbness, as these may be the signs of lactic acidosis (the health condition characterized by the buildup of lactate in the body), which can be very dangerous.
This medicines may interact with Ribavirin, Doxorubicin and Ganciclovir. Therefore, you should avoid taking them during the therapy with Combivir.
As HIV is a contagious disease, patients taking Combivir must not share their toiletries like with other people.