The combination of Lamivudine and zidovudine is marketed under the brand name combivir and it is used in the treatment of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). In terms of effectiveness and endurance it provides best results when it is taken together rather than taking it alone.

It is an anti-viral medication that helps in stopping the development of HIV cells in the body. If it is left unnoticed the virus cells may cause Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The generic version of Combivir pill also produces the same result but at a significantly low cost.


Combivir medication is used to reduce the viral burden in the body by raising the cell count. They belong to a class of antiretroviral drugs called Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (RTI) that are used to treat infection caused due to HIV or AIDS.

The pill works by blocking the activity of an enzyme, reverse transcriptase which is required by the virus to increase its growth. At times it is also used in the treatment of hepatitis B.


The drug can be taken with or without food but usually it is taken as a combination with other medications while treating HIV/AIDS. Combivir medications are available both as liquid and solid oral types and the most recommended dosage for people who weigh more than 30kg is 1 tablet that contains 150mg of lamivudine and zidovudine in double the quantity which is 300 mg taken twice daily.

Liquid type of Combivir pill is prescribed for children who find it difficult to swallow the tablet. The person taking this pill to treat HIV is not supposed to change the dose without consulting a doctor. He should also be administered by his doctor periodically as the pill may lower the blood cells that help the person in fighting infections.

Side effects

Common side effects may happen in the initial stage and may subside over time. This include

  • headache,
  • diarrhea,
  • tiredness,
  • nausea.

Severe side effects include

  • sore throat,
  • chest pain,
  • night sweats,
  • rapid heart rate,
  • sudden weight loss.

If a person experience any of these severe side effect then he/she should be given medical attention immediately as they may increase the risk of infections that are developed while taking lamivudine and zidovudine. Consult a doctor immediately when you experience trouble in breathing, feel weak or numb as they are symptoms of lactic acidosis (which is a medical condition that is caused by the enlargement of lactate in the body) that if not treated early, can be fatal.

Interactions with other drugs

The medicine is found to interact with the following medicines so one should be careful before taking them when he is on treatment with combivir

  • Ribavirin
  • Doxorubicin
  • Ganciclovir

HIV can also be passed to others so people taking Combivir pill are advised not to share even their common things like razors or toothbrush with other people.


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