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Epzicom (Epivir + Ziagen)

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

Epivir 300 mg + Ziagen 600 mg in a single tablet

one tablet, once a day

  • Daily

    Epzicom (Ziagen + Epivir)

    Epzicom

Notes on taking this medication

  • No food restrictions, can take with or without food
  • Do not take Epzicom with Emtriva
  • Before taking Epzicom, you should be tested to see if you are at risk of a serious allergic reaction to the Ziagen component. The test is a blood test for a genetic marker called HLA B5701.
  • Do not take if you are positive for HLA B5701 or allergic to abacavir (Ziagen). Tell your pharmacist if your provider tells you that you are "allergic" to Epzicom or Ziagen.
  • 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

Epivir

  • 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

Ziagen

  • Mild nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; loss of appetite
  • Rash

See accompanying chart: Tips for Common Side Effects

My doctor's instructions

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