Combivir can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood), liver problems, muscle weakness (myopathy), and blood disorders such as severe anemia (very low number of red blood cells) or neutropenia (lower than normal number of white blood cells).
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of lactic acidosis:
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of serious liver problems:
Contact your health care provider right away if you have muscle weakness.
Combivir can cause blood disorders such as severe anemia (very low number of red blood cells) or neutropenia (lower than normal number of white blood cells). Keep all appointments to have your blood count checked while you’re taking Combivir.
Some people infected with both HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) have had a worsening of their HBV infection after stopping lamivudine, one of the two HIV medicines contained in Combivir. Talk to your health care provider about any changes to your HIV regimen.
While taking Combivir, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.
Combivir is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children weighing more than 66 lb (30 kg). Combivir is always used in combination with other HIV medicines.
Combivir contains the following two different medicines combined in one pill:
Combivir belongs to a class (group) of HIV drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTIs block an HIV enzyme called reverse transcriptase. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking reverse transcriptase, the two NRTIs in Combivir prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.
HIV medicines can’t cure HIV/AIDS, but taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission.If you are taking HIV medicines, including Combivir, don’t cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to.
Before taking Combivir, tell your health care provider:
Combivir comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains:
Take Combivir according to your health care provider’s instructions.
Take Combivir with or without food.
Always take Combivir in combination with other HIV medicines.
If you take too much Combivir, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
For more information on how to take Combivir, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)
If you miss a dose of Combivir, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
Combivir may cause side effects. Most side effects from Combivir are manageable, but a few can be serious. Serious side effects of Combivir include lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood), liver problems, muscle weakness (myopathy), and blood disorders such as severe anemia (very low number of red blood cells) or neutropenia (lower than normal number of white blood cells). (See the WARNING box above.)
Other possible side effects of Combivir include:
Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Combivir. To learn more about possible side effects of Combivir, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.
The AIDSinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects also includes information that may apply to Combivir.
You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/.
More information about Combivir is available:
Main number: 877-844-8872
Patient assistance (ViiV Connect): 844-588-3288
Last Reviewed: November 1, 2016