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Generic Name:

abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Trizivir
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine

Oral tablet
1

Trizivir is an oral medication used in combination with other drugs to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

2

The Trizivir tablet contains three drugs: abacavir sulfate, lamivudine, and zidovudine.

3 4

Common side effects may include headache, nausea, and fatigue.

5

People with a certain gene are at higher risk for a dangerous drug hypersensitivity reaction. Before taking this drug, you may need a special blood test to see if you have the gene.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

May cause severe or fatal hypersensitivity reactions. These reactions have happened to people taking abacavir, one of the drugs in Trizivir. Symptoms of a hypersensitivity reaction may include:

  • fever
  • rash
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fatigue
  • trouble breathing
  • sore throat

Before starting this drug, you may have a blood test for the HLA-B*5701 gene. Your risk of hypersensitivity is much higher if you have this gene. If you’ve had abacavir before and had a hypersensitivity reaction, you shouldn’t take Trizivir. 

May cause blood diseases. People taking zidovudine, one of the drugs in Trizivir, have experienced blood diseases, including anemia and neutropenia. Symptoms of blood disease may include:

  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • picking up infections easily 

May cause lactic acidosis. These conditions cause severe changes in the body’s chemical balance. They may cause a buildup of lactic acid and decreased amounts of oxygen in your blood. This can cause nausea and weakness. If you have these symptoms in addition to swelling of your abdomen, see a doctor right away.

Warning for people with hepatitis B virus infection. If you take Trizivir and then stop taking it, your hepatitis B virus infection can become much more severe. If this happens, your liver function will need to be monitored for several months. 

May cause muscle problems

Taking this drug for a long time increases your risk of muscle weakness and pain (myopathy). Report any unusual muscle pain to your doctor.

Increased heart attack risk

If you have a history of coronary heart disease and take abacavir, you may be at higher risk for a heart attack. Tell your doctor about your heart disease before taking this drug.

What is abacavir/lamivudine/zidovudine?

Trizivir is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral tablet. It’s available in its generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

This drug is a single treatment that's made up of multiple drug ingredients. It's important to know when you're taking a combination drug, because each of its parts might have unique traits.

This drug is used as part of a combination therapy. That means you’ll need to take it in combination with other drugs.

Why it's used

Trizivir is used in combination with other drugs to treat HIV infection. It can’t cure HIV infection, but it may help to control it. It’s approved to treat people who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kg).

How it works

Trizivir is a single tablet that combines three drugs: 

  • abacavir sulfate
  • lamivudine
  • zidovudine

More Details

How it works

Trizivir is a single tablet that combines three drugs: 

  • abacavir sulfate
  • lamivudine
  • zidovudine

These drugs block an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. HIV needs this enzyme to make copies of itself in your body. Blocking reverse transcriptase may limit the virus’s ability to spread in your body.

Trizivir has to be combined with other antiretroviral drugs to effectively control HIV infection.

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SECTION 2 of 5

abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with Trizivir include:

  • nausea

  • headache

  • malaise and fatigue

  • nausea and vomiting

  • muscle pain (myopathy)

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • severe, potentially fatal hypersensitivity reactions. Symptoms may include:

    • fever
    • rash
    • nausea and vomiting
    • fatigue
    • trouble breathing
    • sore throat
  • blood toxicity and bone marrow suppression, leading to anemia or neutropenia. Symptoms may include:

    • fatigue
    • weakness
    • picking up infections easily 
  • increased risk of heart attack in people with a history of coronary heart disease

  • lactic acidosis and liver enlargement. Symptoms may include:

    • nausea
    • weakness
    • swelling of your abdomen
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Trizivir does not cause drowsiness. Common side effects should disappear over time.

Call your doctor if they don’t go away or are bothersome.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Trizivir can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Alcohol Interaction

Trizivir may interact with alcohol. Tell your doctor about drinking alcohol while taking this medication.

Medications That Might Interact with This Drug

Drugs that contain other forms of abacavir, lamivudine, or zidovudine

These include:

  • abacavir (Ziagen)
  • lamivudine/zidovudine (Combivir and generic)
  • lamivudine (Epivir or Epivir-HBV)
  • zidovudine (Retrovir)
  • abacavir/lamivudine (Epzicom)

Antiretroviral drugs
  • ganciclovir (Cytovene). This is an intravenous antiretroviral drug. Using both ganciclovir and zidovudine can increase the risk of toxic effects from zidovudine.
  • stavudine (Zerit)

Chemotherapy and hepatitis drugs
  • doxorubicin
  • interferon alfa, alone or with ribavirin. There are many brands and generics of these drugs, which are used to treat hepatitis C virus infection, some forms of cancer, and other infections. Most of these drugs are injectable. All of these drugs are managed by specialist doctors and specialty pharmacies. If you’re treated for any of these conditions, ask your doctor if you should take Trizivir. 

Note: If you’re being treated for cancer or are being treated with other drugs that prevent your bone marrow from making red and white blood cells, you should not take lamivudine/zidovudine. This is not common. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor before taking this drug.

Pain drug
  • methadone

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
kidney disease
People with kidney disease

Kidney disease may affect your ability to clear this drug from your body. If that happens, drug levels could get too high in your body and become toxic. Trizivir comes in just one strength, so it’s not possible to adjust your dose. If you have kidney disease, your doctor may decide to give you a different treatment.

liver
People with liver disease

Trizivir is processed in your liver. If you have liver disease, the amount of each drug in Trizivir may be too much for your liver to process. Your doctor may decide to give you a different treatment.

pregnant women
Pregnant women

Trizivir is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Trizivir should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you shouldn’t breastfeed your infant if you have HIV. There is a risk of passing HIV to your baby.

Additionally, all three drugs in Trizivir are passed through human breast milk. If you breastfeed while taking these drugs, your baby could become resistant to them. This could make treatment difficult if your child becomes infected with HIV.

seniors
For seniors

People older than 65 years often have reduced kidney function and may require a dose lower than the amount of the drugs included in a Trizivir tablet. Depending on your kidney function, your doctor may recommend a different treatment.

telephone
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you experience:

  • fever
  • weakness
  • chills
  • night sweats
  • sore throat
  • joint pain

These symptoms may be a sign the drug isn’t working, and you may need a different treatment.

allergies
Allergies

This drug may cause a serious, potentially fatal hypersensitivity reaction. These reactions have happened to people taking abacavir, one of the drugs in Trizivir. Signs of a hypersensitivity reaction may include:

  • fever
  • rash
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fatigue
  • trouble breathing
  • sore throat

Your risk for having this reaction is higher if you have the HLA-B*5701 gene. You may be tested for the gene before starting this drug. If you’ve had abacavir before and had a hypersensitivity reaction, you shouldn’t take it again.

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How to Take abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What Are You Taking This Medication For?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection

Brand: Trizivir

Form: Oral Tablet
Strength: 300 mg abacavir/150 mg lamivudine/300 mg zidovudine
Adult Dosage (ages 18-64 years and weighing at least 88 pounds [40 kg])

One tablet taken twice per day in evenly spaced doses.

Child Dosage (ages 0-17 years and weighing at least 88 pounds [40 kg])

One tablet taken twice per day in evenly spaced doses.

Senior Dosage (ages 65 years and older)

People older than 65 years often have reduced kidney function and may require a dose lower than the amount of the drugs included in a Trizivir tablet. Depending on your kidney function, your doctor may recommend a different treatment.

Special considerations

Kidney Disease: Kidney disease may reduce how fast this drug is removed from your body. If that happens, drug levels in your body could get too high and become toxic. Trizivir comes in one strength only. It’s not possible to adjust your dose. If you have kidney disease, your doctor may decide to give you a different treatment.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Keeping HIV infection under control requires lifelong treatment. There can be serious health consequences if you don’t take this drug exactly how your doctor tells you.

If you don't take it all

If you don’t take it at all, your HIV infection will eventually reduce your immunity to a point that your body won’t be able to defend itself against many types of infections. You may not be able to defend against infections that are commonly cured in people who don’t have HIV.

If you stop or miss doses

If you stop taking this medication, miss doses, or don’t take it on schedule, the amount of medication in your body fluctuates. This can allow the HIV in your body to become resistant to the drug, which means the drug stops working.

If you don't take it on schedule

Taking your drug at the same time every day keeps a constant amount of the drug in your body. This helps make the drug as effective as possible at keeping the virus under control.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s within a few hours of the time for your next dose, wait and take the next dose on schedule.

Never double up on doses to catch up. This increases your risk of drug toxicity and more serious side effects. 

How can I tell if the drug is working?

To see how well your treatment is working, your doctor will check your:

  • virus count. The virus count measures the number of copies of HIV in your body. A decreased virus count is a sign that your treatment is working.
  • CD4 cell count. A CD4 cell count measures the amount of CD4 cells in your body. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection. An increased CD4 cell count is a sign that your treatment is working.

Trizivir is a long-term drug treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
take with or without food
You can take Trizivir with or without food
timing
Space your doses evenly. This will provide the best possible results
do not crush
Don’t cut or crush this film-coated tablet
storage
Store this drug at 77°F (25°C)
See Details
refillable prescription
Prescription is refillable
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead
See Details
hidden costs
Hidden costs
See Details

Store this drug at 77°F (25°C)

You can briefly store it in temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C) and as high as 86°F (30°C).

Note: Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store them away from moisture and damp locations.

Clinical monitoring

Before starting this drug, you may have a blood test for the HLA-B*5701 gene. If you have this gene, you have a higher risk of drug hypersensitivity reaction.

You may also need frequent blood tests to see if the drug is affecting the numbers of red blood cells and white blood cells in your body.

Your doctor may check your kidney and liver function before you start taking the drug.

To see how well your treatment is working, your doctor will check your:

  • virus count. The virus count measures the number of copies of HIV in your body. A decreased virus count is a sign that the treatment is working.
  • CD4 cell count. A CD4 cell count measures the number of CD4 cells in your body. CD4 cells are white blood cells that fight infection. An increased CD4 cell count is a sign that your treatment is working.

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead

If you only need a few tablets, you should call and ask if your pharmacy dispenses only a small number of tablets. Some pharmacies can't dispense only part of a bottle.

This drug is often available from specialty pharmacies through your insurance plan. These pharmacies operate like mail order pharmacies and ship the drug to you.

In larger cities, there will often be HIV pharmacies where you can have your prescriptions filled. Ask your doctor if there's an HIV pharmacy in your area.

Hidden costs

You may need to pay for a blood test for the HLA-B*5701 gene. If you have this gene, you have an increased risk of drug hypersensitivity reaction.

You may also need more frequent blood tests to monitor the drug’s effect on your red and white blood cells.

Are there any alternatives?

There are many drugs and combinations that can treat HIV infection. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

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How Much Does abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine Cost?

Oral tablet

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for abacavir-lamivudine-zidovudine on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with Susan J. Bliss, RPh, MBA

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on April 30, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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