Combivir (Lamivudine/zidovudine) Medication


Combivir (Lamivudine/zidovudine)

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Combivir is a prescribed medication utilized in conjunction with other drugs for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. 

Combivir contains two active ingredients: lamivudine and zidovudine, both belonging to the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) drug class. These drugs function by reducing the level of HIV in the bloodstream, subsequently minimizing the risk of HIV-associated complications such as cancer and new infections. 

Uses and Dosage 

Before taking Combivir and with every prescription refill, thoroughly review its medication guide and patient information leaflet. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for any inquiries or clarifications. 

Combivir should only be administered under the guidance of a doctor who has determined the appropriate dosage for the individual.  

Typically, one tablet of Combivir is taken every 12 hours with or without food. 

To achieve optimal results, take this medication consistently around the same time(s) every day. 

Adhere to your doctor’s prescribed regimen for Combivir (as well as other HIV medications). Do not skip doses, increase the dosage, take it more frequently than instructed, or discontinue this medication (or other HIV medicines) without your doctor’s guidance. Skipping or altering the dose without medical approval may lead to increased viral levels, treatment resistance, or exacerbate side effects. 

Side Effects 

Listed below are the potential adverse effects that may arise from taking Combivir. Promptly notify your doctor if any of them last or worsen. 

Common Side Effects 

  • Headache 
  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Tiredness or general ill feeling 
  • Cold symptoms: 
    • Stuffy nose 
    • Sneezing 
    • Sinus pain 
    • Cough 
  • Loss of body fat, particularly in arms, legs, face, and buttocks 

Serious Side Effects 

  • Liver problems:  
    •  Swelling around midsection  
    • Right-sided upper stomach pain  
    • Loss of appetite  
    • Dark urine  
    • Clay-colored stools  
    • Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes) 
  • Low red blood cells (anemia):  
    • Pale skin  
    • Unusual tiredness 
    • Feeling light-headed or short of breath  
    • Cold hands and feet 
  • Low white blood cell counts:  
    • Fever  
    • Mouth sores  
    • Skin sores  
    • Sore throat 
    • Cough  
    • Trouble breathing 
  • Pancreatitis:  
    • Severe pain in upper stomach spreading to back  
    • Nausea and vomiting 

Inform your doctor if you experience any of the severe side effects stated above. 

Combivir may impact the immune system, potentially leading to side effects that can occur even several weeks or months after taking this medication. Inform your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:  

  • Signs of a new infection, such as: 
    • Fever 
    • Night sweats 
    • Swollen glands 
    • Cold sores 
    • Cough 
    • Wheezing 
    • Diarrhea 
    • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Difficulties with speaking or swallowing, problems related to balance or eye movement, weakness, or tingling sensations 
  • Swelling in the neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), changes in menstrual patterns, or impotence. 

Allergic Reactions 

Severe allergic reactions to Combivir are uncommon; however, seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms such as: 

  • Hives 
  • Difficult breathing 
  • Face, lips, tongue, or throat swelling 

This list does not contain all the potential side effects of Combivir. If you encounter any unlisted effects, tell your doctor right away. 


Before starting treatment with Combivir, inform your doctor and pharmacist if you have any known hypersensitivities, especially to lamivudine, zidovudine, any other medications, or any of the ingredients present in Combivir tablets. 

To ensure Combivir is safe for you, disclose to your physician your medical background, specifically if you have a history of: 

  • Kidney problems 
  • Liver problems, including hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis 
  • Pancreatic disease (pancreatitis) 
  • Alcohol consumption 
  • Low red or white blood cell counts 

Combivir may interact with certain products, including: 

  • Orlistat 
  • Probenecid 
  • Ribavirin 
  • Sorbitol 
  • Stavudine 
  • Drugs that can potentially reduce bone marrow function or lower blood cell counts, such as: 
    • Ganciclovir 
    • Trimethoprim 
    • Cancer chemotherapy medications like doxorubicin 

To lower the risk of such drug interactions, inform your doctor and pharmacist about all your medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, other dietary supplements, and herbal products. 

Avoid using other products containing lamivudine or zidovudine while taking Comvibir. Examples of such products include emtricitabine which is similar to lamivudine. 

The effectiveness of Combivir may be influenced by other medications that impact the elimination of zidovudine from your system. Examples of such medications include rifampin, valproic acid, and others. 

When concurrently using clarithromycin, ensure to space out your Combivir dose by at least 2 hours. 

Refrain from using medications containing sorbitol, a commonly utilized sweetener in liquid medicines. If unsure, consult your pharmacist to verify the presence of this ingredient in a particular medication. 

Combivir can cause dizziness, which can be worsened by alcohol. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness until you are confident in your ability to do so safely. Limit your alcohol intake, as it can also increase the risk of liver problems and pancreatitis. 

Combivir can cause lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in the blood. Seek medical assistance if you experience muscle pain, difficulty breathing, stomach pain, dizziness, coldness, weakness, or exhaustion. 

Patients with a history of hepatitis B may experience reactivation or exacerbation of the condition upon discontinuation of Combivir. Regular liver function tests may be necessary for several months following cessation of this medication. 

Combivir does not prevent the spread of HIV. Unsafe sex, sharing razors/toothbrushes, and needles are HIV transmission risks. Consult a doctor for prevention methods. 

Inform your healthcare provider about your pregnancy status and diligently follow the prescribed medication regimen to manage your infection effectively. 

Uncontrolled HIV during pregnancy can result in transmission of the virus to your baby. As part of monitoring the potential effects of antiviral medication on infants, your name may be included in a registry. 

Breastfeeding is not recommended for women with HIV or AIDS, as there is a possibility of transmitting the virus to the baby through breast milk. It should also be noted that lamivudine and zidovudine can pass into breast milk. 

Additional information

Generic name:

Lamivudine/Zidovudine, Lamivudine/zidovudine





Quantities Available:

60, 120

Quality Prescription Drugs has provided information from third parties intended to increase awareness and does not contain all the information about Combivir (Lamivudine/zidovudine). Talk to your doctor or a qualified medical practitioner for medical attention, advice, or if you have any concerns about Combivir (Lamivudine/zidovudine).