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Combivir (Lamivudine/Zidovudine) Uses, Dosage and Side Effects


What is Combivir (Lamivudine / Zidovudine)?

Combivir is a type of antiretroviral drug used in providing medical treatment to individuals undergoing the hostile effects of HIV. It is purposely produced in controlling the said infection. The said drug is part of the antiretroviral therapy program, which aims to lessen the cases of individuals acquiring AIDS induced by HIV. This medicine is a mixture of two major HIV drugs, namely lamivudine and zidovudine.

In decreasing the volume of virus living inside the body, antiretroviral drugs are administered, specifically Combivir. Only through this way that the viruses are being controlled, eventually reducing their virulence. Apart from this function, Combivir is also highly capable of preventing the virus from multiplying.

What is it used for?

When the treatment is properly administered, it lowers someone’s chances of getting other HIV-related health complications. That is what Combivir is made for. This form of treatment helps the body’s immune system to function more competitively, enabling its immunity properties to fight and stop the infection.

How does it work?

The treatment for HIV involves the classification of different drug groups. For Combivir, this medicine is part of a group of drugs called NRTIs or nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. What functions do NRTIs have? Consider the following:

  • It inhibits the virus from replicating.
  • It blocks the viruses’ capacity to multiply.
  • It helps in decreasing the viral load within the body.
  • It prevents other health complications from emerging.

Once this medicine is taken in line with the prescription provided by the healthcare professional, the road to recovery is clear and very likely. That is why following the instructions detailed out by the healthcare professional is always a necessity.


Alongside other antiretroviral medications, Combivir also observes a dosage that infected individuals must follow. While the prescription may not be the same to different patients, the usual dosage is as follows.

  • For adult’s dosage – 1 tablet of Combivir to be consumed twice on a daily basis.
  • For children’s dosage – 1 tablet of Combivir to be consumed twice on a daily basis.

Note: The dosage for children will depend on their weight. Furthermore, if they are not able to consume film-coated tablets of the said medicine, the oral solution form of Combivir is recommended.

How to take this drug?

There are two forms of this medicine. If someone is not able to consume the tablet, its oral solution form can be used. Regardless of the drug form, the dosage should be the same.

This medicine is consumed orally. For tablets, avoid breaking or chewing them. It can be ingested with or without food, depending on your preference. However, to avoid having a recurrent stomachache, ingesting it with food is highly suggested.

If, in any case, you forget to take your dose for the scheduled time, take it immediately. However, if it is already time for your next dose, move on and follow your schedule for the next drug consumption. To prevent such an occurrence, you can set the alarm to get you notified of your schedule.

Warnings and Precautions

Drug interaction is always a possibility if aside from using this medicine, you are also taking other forms of supplements. That is why before the prescription is given, you need to speak with your healthcare professional first and discuss if you are following other forms of medications.

Also, if you are hypersensitive to this medicine, tell your healthcare professional immediately. Any form of hypersensitivity can be fatal if not prevented. In this case, you will need to consume another form of antiretroviral drug.

Combivir Side Effects

Alongside other forms of antiretroviral medicines, this drug includes a list of side effects. Learn what these adverse reactions are and how you can manage them at home.

List of side effects that require urgent medical care:

These are the types of adverse reactions where immediate medical attention is needed. Sometimes, people who get to experience these are hospitalized.

  • Severe numbing sensation (usually in the hands, arms, feet, and legs)
  • Recurrent fever
  • Sore throat
  • Unexplained weakness
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe headache
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Lack of appetite
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Redness of the skin
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Chest tightness

List of side effects that DO NOT require urgent medical care:

These are the types of adverse reactions that do not demand urgent medical attention. These side effects are manageable at home. Consider the following:

  • Mild headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Unexplained thirst and hunger
  • Sweating
  • Mild nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sleeping problem

For the most part, the ones that need immediate medical care are those people who experience the most severe side effects. If these reactions persist, contact your healthcare professional and obtain the necessary medical assistance.

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