lamivudine and zidovudine, Combivir (cont.)

Pharmacy Author:
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

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.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes.

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 150/300 mg (lamivudine/zidovudine)

STORAGE: The tablets should be stored at 2 C to 30 C (36F to 86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Combivir is used, in combination with other agents, for the treatment of HIV infection.

DOSING: For the treatment of HIV infection the recommended oral dose for adults or children weighing 30 kg or more is one tablet twice daily. Combivir is administered without regard to meals since food does not affect its absorption.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Fluconazole (Diflucan), probenecid, trimethoprim (Trimpex) and valproic acid (Depakote) reduce the elimination of zidovudine and therefore increase the concentration in blood of zidovudine. This can lead to increased side effects from zidovudine.

Lamivudine and zalcitabine (Hivid) reduce the action of one another. Therefore Combivir should not be combined with zalcitabine. Stavudine (Zerit) or doxorubicin reduce the activity of zidovudine and should not be combined with Combivir.

Combining zidovudine with ganciclovir (Cytovene), interferon alfa, ribavirin (Rebetol), or other drugs that suppress bone marrow production of blood cells increases the effect of zidovudine on production of blood cells.

PREGNANCY: Use of Combivir during pregnancy has not been adequately evaluated.



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