Combivir and its Uses Generic Combivir combination is used in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Generic Combivir is a combination of lamivudine and zidovudine; two medicines (nucleoside analogues) that slow down the replication of the HIV virus. These are both medicines called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. This can reduce the virus' ability to infect new cells. It may help lower the amount of HIV in your body (called "viral load") and raise your CD4 (T) cell count.
Lamivudine plus zidovudine when used together can have stronger (synergistic) effects against the virus. Generic Combivir is a convenient way of taking lamivudine and zidovudine. Combivir should usually be taken with other anti-HIV therapy.
Lamivudine and zidovudine combination will not cure or prevent HIV infection or the symptoms of AIDS; however, it helps keep HIV from reproducing, and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay the development of serious health problems usually related to AIDS or HIV infection.
There is no cure for HIV, but zidovudine and lamivudine are two of a number of medications that lower the amount of virus in the body (viral load) and slow the progression of the disease from HIV to AIDS. A combination of several anti-HIV medicines is required to fight the infection because the virus can become resistant to one agent very quickly. Zidovudine and lamivudine are used together to help prevent resistance occurring. This combination preparation reduces the number of tablets to be taken and therefore simplifies treatment.
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Combivir Mechanism Combivir Working
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is caused by infection with HIV. This virus invades cells of the immune system, particularly the white blood cells known as CD4 T-helper lymphocytes. These cells normally work to activate other cells in the immune system to fight infection. Since HIV kills CD4 T-helper cells, over time the body becomes less able to fight the virus or subsequent infections.
Once the virus is inside the CD4 T-cell it multiplies. Part of the process of viral multiplication involves the conversion of the virus genetic material, RNA, into DNA. This is achieved by a compound essential to the virus, called reverse transcriptase. Reverse transcriptase is a compound known as an enzyme. Zidovudine and lamivudine work by blocking the action of this enzyme, thereby interfering with the conversion of viral RNA into DNA. This stops the virus from multiplying.
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Combivir Dosage Missed Dose of Combivir
Take the missed dose of Combivir as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose of Combivir and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of Combivir unless your doctor directs otherwise.
Excess Dose of Combivir
Generic Combivir in excess shows symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, lethargy, confusion, and seizures.
Conditions for Storage of Combivir
Store Combivir at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Potencies of Combivir
Tablets: Combivir 150/300mg : Lamivudine 150 mg - Zidovudine 300 mg
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Food and Drug interactions with Combivir
- Rifampicin may decrease the blood level of zidovudine and therefore reduce its effectiveness.
- The following medicines may increase the blood level of zidovudine and may therefore increase the risk of side effects:
- sodium valproate
- benzodiazepines, e.g. oxazepam, lorazepam.
- Trimethoprim may increase the blood level of lamivudine. This should not require a dose adjustment unless you have kidney problems, however you should be well monitored by your doctor if you are prescribed trimethoprim or co-trimoxazole (containing trimethoprim) while taking Combivir.
- Generic Combivir should not used in combination with the following medicines:
- stavudine (zidovudine may inhibit effect of stavudine)
- ribavirin (ribavirin may inhibit effect of zidovudine)
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Contraindications with Combivir
Combivir is contraindicated in the following conditions:
- Children under 12 years of age
- People with low levels of a type of white blood cell (neutrophil) in the blood
- Pregnancy & Breast Feeding: The safety of this medicine in pregnancy has not been established. It should only be used during pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester. To prevent transmission of the virus to uninfected babies, it is recommended that HIV-positive mothers not breast-feed.
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Precautions with Combivir
Combivir should be used with caution in:
- Decreased kidney function
- Decreased liver function
- Elderly people
- Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly)
- History of alcohol abuse
- Liver disease
- Obese women
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
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Adverse effects with Combivir
The adverse effects associated with Combivir are:
- Difficulty in sleeping (insomnia)
- Disturbances of the gut such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain
- Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- Low red blood cell count (anaemia)
- Loss of appetite
- Decrease in the number of a type of white blood cell (
neutrophil) in the blood (neutropenia)
- Weakness or loss of strength (asthenia)
- Elevated levels of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis)
- Liver disorders
- Pain in the muscles and joints
- Rash or itching
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