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Combivir (AZT + Epivir)

Type of Drug: Fixed-Dose Combination

Fixed-dose combinations combine the most commonly prescribed doses of several medications into 1 pill. This pill is a combination of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, also called NRTIs, nucleoside analogues, or "nukes." These were the first type of drug available to treat HIV.

When the HIV virus enters a healthy cell, it attempts to make copies of itself. It does this by using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. NRTIs block that enzyme, so HIV cannot make new copies of itself.

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Approved adult dosing

AZT 300 mg + Epivir 150 mg in a single tablet

one tablet, two times a day

  • Morning



  • Evening



Note: Generic formulations are available; these generic pills may have different shapes and colors than the one shown above.

Notes on taking this medication

  • No food restrictions, can take with or without food
  • Do not take Combivir with Emtriva or Zerit
  • Persons with kidney problems may need an adjustment to their doses of the component drugs, and have to take them separately, not as a single pill

Same side effects as

AZT (Retrovir)

  • Nausea; stomach discomfort; headache
  • Symptoms of anemia (low red blood cell count): fatigue; shortness of breath
  • More rarely: muscle wasting; neutropenia (low white blood cell count)
  • Changes in body-fat distribution


  • Side effects are rare but include headaches and general sense of feeling ill
  • Epivir is active against hepatitis B, and stopping it can cause "flare-up" of hepatitis B

See accompanying chart: Tips for Common Side Effects

My doctor's instructions

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