Double Defense: Abacavir and Lamivudine | Fighting Against HIV/AIDS

Abacavir and lamivudine

What is Abacavir and lamivudine?

Abacavir and lamivudine are antiviral medicines that prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from multiplying in your body.

This combination medicine is used to treat HIV, the virus that can cause the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

It is important to understand that this medication does not cure HIV or AIDS, but it does help slow down the progression of the disease.

It should be taken as directed by your doctor and should not be shared with others.

Abacavir and lamivudine may also have other uses that are not listed in this medication guide. If you have any questions about how this medication works or why it has been prescribed for you, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.


Abacavir and lamivudine medications should not be taken if you have liver disease or if you are HLA-B*5701 positive.

Do not use this medication if you had an allergic reaction to any drug that contains abacavir or lamivudine previously.

If the following symptoms occur during the medication period, stop taking immediately and consult a doctor: fever; rash; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain; general ill feeling, extreme tiredness, body aches; shortness of breath, cough or sore throat. These may indicate an allergic reaction towards the medicine.

If you ever had hepatitis B before using abacavir and lamivudine tablets then it can become worsen. It's essential to take regular liver function tests over several months.

Prior to Medication Use

Before taking Abacavir and Lamivudine, make sure you are not allergic to either of the medicines or have liver disease. This also includes if you have a history of testing positive for a gene variation called HLA-B*5701 or an allergic reaction to any medication which contains these medicines.

Lactic acidosis is a severe condition where lactic acid builds up in your blood. You may be at more risk of developing this condition under certain circumstances such as other medical conditions, being overweight, and pregnancy among others. Thus, it's advisable to seek advice from your physician about your risk factor for the same before consuming this medication.

It's necessary that you inform your doctor about existing medical conditions like liver disease (hepatitis B or C), kidney disease, heart problems (risk factors including diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol) and alcohol consumption before taking this medicine.

If pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant while taking the medications then one must use these drugs properly to keep their infection under control since HIV can be passed on to the baby if left untreated during pregnancy. It is recommended that women with HIV/AIDS do not breastfeed their child because there could still be residual viruses present in the breast milk which may cause harm.

Lastly, make sure this medicine is not given to children who weigh less than 55 pounds.

Possible Reactions

Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction from two or more of these specific side effect groups:

Group 1 - fever;

Group 2 - rash;

Group 3 - nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;

Group 4 - general ill feeling, extreme tiredness, body aches;

Group 5 - shortness of breath, cough, sore throat.

Once you have an allergic reaction to abacavir and lamivudine (affects the immune system), you must never use it again. If you stop taking this medicine for any reason, talk to your doctor before starting again.

Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms related to other signs of an allergic reaction such as hives; swelling in your face or throat; trouble breathing.

Also call if experiencing lactic acidosis that includes unusual muscle pain along with other associated symptoms such as trouble breathing; stomach pain; vomiting; fast/slow or irregular heartbeats; dizziness; feeling cold/very weak/tired. Or liver problems resulting in loss of appetite/stomach pain (upper right side)/tiredness/itching/dark urine/clay-colored stools/jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Abacavir and lamivudine affects your immune system which results in certain side effects even weeks/months after taking medication like signs of a new infection (fever/night sweats/swollen glands/cold sores/cough/wheezing/diarrhea/weight loss); trouble speaking or swallowing/problems with balance or eye movement/weakness/prickly feeling/enlarged thyroid/menstrual changes/impotence.

The common side effects of taking this medication include allergic reaction; depression; trouble sleeping; feeling weak or tired; headache/dizziness/migraine/nausea/diarrhea. It can also change the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).

This is not an extensive list of the side effects. If you experience any other health issues after taking abacavir and lamivudine medicine, ask your doctor for immediate medical attention. It is also possible to report any side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Medication Interactions

Abacavir and lamivudine, a combination drug commonly used for treating HIV infections in adult patients, may interact with other prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

It is essential to inform your doctor about all the medications you are currently using or planning to start or stop using because these drugs, vitamins, and herbal products may affect the effectiveness of abacavir and lamivudine.

Therefore, it's crucial to discuss with your healthcare professional before taking any other medicine or supplement along with this medication.

Recommended Dosage Guidelines

Abacavir and lamivudine is a combination drug used in the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and children who weigh at least 25 kg.

The usual adult dose for HIV infection is 1 tablet to be taken orally once a day along with other antiretroviral agents. In case of occupational exposure, the US Public Health Service Working Group Recommendations state that prophylaxis should begin as soon as possible within hours after exposure. The optimal duration of prophylaxis may differ based on institution protocol. Consult current guidelines for additional information.

-Only with expert consultation can this be part of an alternative antiretroviral regimen for use as HIV postexposure prophylaxis. The duration of therapy should not exceed 28 days if it is well tolerated.

In pediatric patients weighing at least 25 kg, the recommended dosage remains similar to adults, which is taking one tablet orally once a day. However, it is recommended to use individual components for patients below this weight limit.

Consequences of Missed Dose: What to Expect?

If you miss a dose of Abacavir and Lamivudine, take the medicine as soon as you can.

However, if it's almost time for your next dose, it's better to skip the missed dose; don't take two doses at one time.

To avoid missing doses in the future, get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

It's important to note that If you miss several doses of this medication, you may have a dangerous or even fatal allergic reaction once you start taking it again.

Understanding the Ramifications: Effects of Drug Overdose

If you suspect an overdose of Abacavir and Lamivudine, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

You can also call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. It is a nationwide toll-free number that connects you to the nearest poison control center.

It is essential to take Abacavir and Lamivudine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Overdosing on this medication could lead to severe health problems.

An overdose of Abacavir and Lamivudine could cause serious side effects like muscle pain, weakness, trouble breathing, chest pain, nausea, vomiting or a rapid heart rate.

Precautions and Avoidances: Navigating Abacavir and lamivudine

Taking abacavir and lamivudine will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people.

Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes.

Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex.

Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

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