Trizivir

Generic Name: Abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine

  • What is Trizivir?

    Trizivir combines three drugs used to fight HIV, the deadly virus that undermines the immune system, leaving the body ever more vulnerable to infection, and eventually leading to AIDS. The components of Trizivir are all members of the category of HIV drugs known as nucleoside analogs.

    Trizivir may be prescribed alone or in combination with other HIV drugs. It reduces the amount of HIV in the bloodstream, but does not completely cure the disease. You may still develop the rare infections and other complications that accompany HIV.

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

    The abacavir component of Trizivir can cause a serious, possibly fatal, allergic reaction. You should stop taking Trizivir and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, body aches, cough, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, fever, general ill feeling, nausea, shortness of breath, skin rash, severe peeling skin, sore throat, or vomiting. These symptoms usually appear during the first 6 weeks of therapy, but may occur any time during treatment. If they do occur, do not take another dose of Trizivir until you see your doctor.

    Trizivir has been known to cause liver problems and a serious medical condition called lactic acidosis. This condition is more likely to develop in women, people who are overweight, those at risk of liver disease, and patients who have been taking nucleoside analogs for a long time. Be alert for warning signs of the problem, such as persistent nausea and fatigue, and notify your doctor if they occur. Be sure to let your doctor know if you've had liver problems in the past.

    Treatment with Trizivir can cause serious blood disorders including anemia (low red blood cell count) and neutropenia (low white cell count). Prolonged treatment with Trizivir also has the potential to cause diseases of the muscles. Be sure to tell your doctor about any muscle pain or weakness you experience. Also, if you have the liver infection hepatitis B, there is a chance that it will get worse if treatment with Trizivir is discontinued.

  • Who should not take Trizivir?

    Do not take Trizivir if you have ever had an allergic reaction to its abacavir component.

    Also, you cannot take Trizivir if you weigh less than 90 pounds or have severe kidney disease.

    Patients with hepatic impairment or kidney disease with CrCl less than 50 mL/min should not take Trizivir.

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

    Mention all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Trizivir. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver or kidney disease, have low blood cell counts, or are pregnant or 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 of Trizivir is 1 tablet twice daily with or without food.

    Children: Trizivir is not intended for children and adolescents who weigh less than 90 pounds. Teenagers who weigh more than 90 pounds receive the adult dose.

  • How should I take Trizivir?

    Trizivir is usually taken twice a day, with or without food. It is important to take the medication exactly as prescribed and not to miss any doses. Be sure to refill your prescription before your supply runs out. If HIV drugs are stopped for even a short time, the virus can increase rapidly and may become harder to treat. If you miss a dose, take the missed dose right away, and the next dose at the usual scheduled time.
  • What should I avoid while taking Trizivir?

    Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes. Remember, Trizivir does not reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex, such as using a condom and spermicide.

    Avoid taking other medications that may already contain the combination of Trizivir, such as Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, Retrovir, or Ziagen.

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

    If Trizivir 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 Trizivir with the following: alcohol, atovaquone, doxorubicin, drugs used for bone marrow suppression and cancer therapy, fluconazole, ganciclovir, interferon-alpha, methadone, nelfinavir, probenecid, ribavirin, ritonavir, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, valproic acid, or zalcitabine.
  • What are the possible side effects of Trizivir?

    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: abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, allergic reaction, blisters in the mouth or eyes, blood and lymph disorders, breast enlargement in males, chills, cough, depression, diarrhea, dizziness, enlarged spleen, fatigue, fever, hair loss, headache, heart problems, high blood sugar, hives, ill feeling, indigestion, inflamed blood vessels, insomnia and other sleep problems, joint pain, liver problems, loss of appetite, mouth inflammation, muscle pain or weakness, nasal symptoms, nausea, pain or tingling in the hands or feet, pancreatitis, redistribution of body fat, seizures, severe peeling skin, skin rash, vomiting, weakness, wheezing

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

    The effects of Trizivir during pregnancy are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant.

    Because the virus can be passed to a baby through breast milk, breastfeeding is not recommended for mothers with HIV.

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

    Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double your dose.
  • How should I store Trizivir?

    Store Trizivir tablets at room temperature.