Epzicom

Generic Name: Abacavir

  • What is Epzicom?

    Epzicom is a medicine used to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection (AIDS) in combination with other anti-HIV medications. Epzicom contains two medications, abacavir sulfate and lamivudine. Both of these are types of HIV medications called nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Epzicom works by lowering the amount of HIV in your blood.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Epzicom?

    You must take Epzicom with other HIV medications. Always stay on continuous HIV therapy to control your HIV infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. Though Epzicom can slow the progress of HIV, it is not a cure. You may continue to develop infections and other complications associated with HIV.

    Epzicom can cause a serious allergic reaction. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop a fever, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the stomach area, general ill feeling, extreme tiredness or achiness, shortness of breath, cough, or sore throat.

    Epzicom can cause a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up of an acid in the blood). Tell your doctor immediately if you feel very weak or tired; have unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, or stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feel cold, especially in your arms and legs; feel dizzy or lightheaded; or have a fast or irregular heartbeat.

    Epzicom can cause serious liver problems with liver enlargement and fat in the liver. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, dark urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, nausea, or lower abdominal pain.

    You have a higher chance of getting lactic acidosis or liver problems if you are a woman, are very overweight, or if you have been taking Epzicom or similar products for a long time.

    If you have hepatitis B virus (HBV) and stop taking Epzicom, your HBV can worsen.

  • Who should not take Epzicom?

    Do not take Epzicom if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients, or if you have certain liver problems.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Epzicom?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Epzicom. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have a particular gene variation called HLA-B*5701; HBV infection or other liver problems; kidney problems; heart problems or diseases that increase your risk of heart disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes); are smoking; or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 1 tablet once a day.

  • How should I take Epzicom?

    Take Epzicom exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change your dose or stop taking Epzicom without first talking with your doctor. You can take Epzicom with or without food.

    When your Epzicom supply starts to run low, get more from your doctor or pharmacy. It is important that you do not run out of Epzicom. If you stop the medicine for even a short time, the amount of HIV in your body can increase or it can become resistant to the effects of Epzicom.

  • What should I avoid while taking Epzicom?

    Do not breastfeed while you are taking Epzicom.

    Do not reuse or share needles or other injection equipment. Also, do not share personal items that can have blood or bodily fluids on them (such as toothbrushes or razor blades).

    Do not have unprotected sex.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Epzicom?

    If Epzicom is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Epzicom with the following: alcohol, certain medications for hepatitis (such as interferon or ribavirin), methadone, other HIV medications containing the same or similar active ingredients (such as Combivir, Complera, Emtriva, Epivir, Trizivir, Truvada, or Ziagen), or sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim.

  • What are the possible side effects of Epzicom?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: allergic reactions, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, fever, headache, heart attack, nausea, rash, tiredness, trouble sleeping

  • Can I receive Epzicom if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Epzicom during pregnancy are unknown. Epzicom can be found in your breast milk if you take it during breastfeeding. It is recommended that you do not breastfeed your baby if you are infected with HIV. This is because your baby could become infected with HIV through your breast milk. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Epzicom?

    If you miss a dose of Epzicom, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Epzicom?

    Store at room temperature.