The effectiveness of either lamivudine or zidovudine when used alone may decrease as the HIV virus develops resistance to the effects of the individual drugs. By combining lamivudine and zidovudine, it is more difficult for the HIV virus to develop resistance to therapy since it must develop resistance to both drugs. As a result, Combivir is more effective than lamivudine or zidovudine alone. Combivir does not kill existing HIV virus, and it is not a cure for HIV. Combivir was approved by the FDA in September 1997.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Combivir is used, in combination with other agents, for the treatment of HIV infection.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most serious side effects of Combivir are:
- a decrease in blood cells,
- muscle pain (myopathy),
- muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis),
- liver enlargement,
- fatty liver,
- hypersensitivity reactions, and
- metabolic disturbance (lactic acidosis).
Other side effects include
Accumulation or redistribution of fat also may occur.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes.
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