Combivir is the brand name for a combination drug produced by
Glaxo Wellcome Inc. It contains both Zidovudine and lamivudine.
These two drugs can be used in combination to fight HIV disease.
Both lamivudine and zidvudine are phosphorylated in the body
and inhibit reverse transcription by the HIV RNA. The primary mode of
action for both lamivudine and zidovudine is termination of the DNA chain
after incorporation into the viral genome. It is found that
resistance to lamivudine typically develops in patients within 12
weeks, but combination treatment of the two drugs toeghter delays
resistance to zidovudine, making overall treatment more
Combivir is indicated for treatment of HIV infection.
Recommended dosage for adults and adolescents at least 12
years of age is one tablet (150 mg lamivudine, 300 mg zidovudine)
twice daily. Patients requiring reduced dosage should not receive
Combivir is a fixed-dosage drug, and as such, those patients who
require reduced dosage for treatment should not receive Combivir.
This includes patients with low body weight (less than 50 kg or 110 lbs)
as well as patients with renal and liver dysfunction Patients should be
informed that Combivir is not a cure for HIV- transmission is still
possible during treatment, as is the progression of HIV disease itself.
Combination treatment with ganciclovir, interpheron-alpha,bone marrow
suppressives, and cytotoxic agents can increase change of hemotoxicity of
Combivir is contraindicated for any patients with known
allergies to any components of the drug. Patients with low body weight and
severe liver and kidney dysfunction should not reveive Combivir. Warnings
for other drugs should also be consulted before beginning any combination
treatment program. Patients with bone marrow compromise have
higher rates of anemia and neutropenia, so caution should be
Potential Adverse Effects
The most common effects are headache, anesthenia, malaise,
nausea, diarrhea, nasal signs and symptoms, and cough. Lactic
acidosis, pancreatitis, vasculitis, and sensitization reactions are all
severe effects that have been reported, however. Adverse reactions tend to
worsen as HIV disease progresses, so patients should be