abacavir, lamivudine, zidovudine, Trizivir
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: abacavir, lamivudine, zidovudine
BRAND NAME: Trizivir
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Trizivir is a combination oral medication that is used for treating infections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Trizivir contains abacavir (Ziagen), lamivudine (Epivir) and zidovudine (Retrovir), which are three different anti-HIV drugs with different mechanisms of action. Anti-HIV drugs are often used in combination to increase HIV suppression and to reduce the chance of the HIV developing resistance to any single drug. Combining these three drugs into one pill reduces the number of individual medications that a patient has to take, which makes it easier for patients to comply with therapy. Administration of one tablet of Trizivir is equal to giving 300 mg of abacavir, 150 mg of lamivudine and 300 mg of zidovudine together. Trizivir does not reduce the transmission of HIV among individuals, and it does not cure HIV or AIDS. Trizivir was approved by the FDA in November 2000.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No.
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 300 mg abacavir/150 mg lamivudine/300 mg zidovudine.
STORAGE: Capsules and powder should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Trizivir is used alone or in combination with other anti-HIV drugs for the treatment of HIV infection.
DOSING: The recommended dose for adults and adolescents is one tablet twice daily.
Alcohol competes with abacavir for elimination from the body. Therefore, alcohol consumption may increase the concentration of abacavir in the body and this could lead to increased frequency or severity of side effects from abacavir. Abacavir does not affect the elimination of alcohol.
Fluconazole (Diflucan), probenecid and trimethoprim (Trimpex) reduce the elimination of zidovudine and therefore increase the blood concentration of zidovudine. This can lead to increased side effects from zidovudine.
PREGNANCY: Trizivir has not been adequately evaluated in pregnant women.
NURSING MOTHERS: Use of Trizivir by nursing women has not been adequately studied. Nevertheless, HIV-infected mothers should not breastfeed because of the potential risk of transmitting HIV to an infant that is not infected.
SIDE EFFECTS: Trizivir causes the same side effect as its component drugs, abacavir, lamivudine and zidovudine. The most common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and difficulty sleeping.
Serious and sometimes fatal hypersensitivity reactions involving several organs have been associated with abacavir, a component of Trizivir. Symptoms include fever, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, aches, shortness of breath, cough, and sore throat. Patients should discontinue Trizivir if a hypersensitivity reaction is suspected. Patients who carry a certain genetic marker called HLA-B 5701 are at high risk for experiencing a hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir. Screening for the HLA-B 5701 allele is recommended prior to initiating therapy with abacavir. Other side effect of the abacavir component include pancreatitis, liver failure and metabolic disturbance (lactic acidosis). A decrease in blood cells, muscle pain and weakness, and nerve damage in the extremities (peripheral neuropathy) also occur.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Last Editorial Review: 3/7/2013
Back to Medications Index
Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!