lamivudine 150 mg and zidovudine 300 mg tablets

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

Please read this leaflet carefully before you start taking COMBIVIR tablets.

This leaflet answers some common questions about COMBIVIR. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking COMBIVIR tablets against the benefits they expect it will have for you.

If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.

What COMBIVIR tablets are used for

COMBIVIR contains both lamivudine and zidovudine which belong to a group of medicines called antiretrovirals.

Please note that these medicines are also available separately: lamivudine alone is 3TC, (tablets and oral solution) and zidovudine alone is RETROVIR (capsules and syrup).

COMBIVIR is used, alone or with other antiretrovirals, to slow down the progression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and other related illnesses (e.g. AIDS-related Complex or ARC).

COMBIVIR does not cure AIDS or HIV infection, but slows production of human immunodeficiency virus. In this way it stops ongoing damage to the body's immune system, which fights infection.

COMBIVIR does not reduce your risk of passing HIV infection to others. You will still be able to pass on the HIV virus by sexual activity or by passing on blood or bodily secretions which carry the HIV virus. You should continue to take all appropriate precautions.

While taking COMBIVIR and/or any other therapy for HIV disease, you may continue to develop other infections and other complications of HIV infection. You should keep in regular contact with your doctor.

The long-term risks and benefits of taking COMBIVIR are not known.

Your doctor may have prescribed COMBIVIR for another reason. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why COMBIVIR has been prescribed for you.

COMBIVIR is not addictive.

Before you take COMBIVIR tablets

When you must not take them

  • Do not take COMBIVIR tablets if you have ever had an allergic reaction to either lamivudine (trade name 3TC) or zidovudine (trade name RETROVIR), or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
    Symptoms of an allergic reaction may be mild or severe. They usually include some or all of the following: wheezing, swelling of the lips/mouth, difficulty in breathing, hay fever, lumpy rash ("hives") or fainting.
  • Do not take COMBIVIR tablets if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breastfeeding, unless your doctor says you should.
    Your doctor should discuss with you the risks and benefits of using COMBIVIR tablets if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Do not take COMBIVIR if you have
    – kidney disease
    – liver disease
    – reduced red blood cell count (anaemia),
    – reduced white blood cell count (neutropenia).

    If you have certain health conditions, your doctor may advise that you take a lower dose of lamivudine and/or zidovudine, the active ingredients in COMBIVIR tablets. Lamivudine is available separately as 3TC tablets and oral solution, and zidovudine is available as RETROVIR capsules and syrup. Ask your doctor if you are not sure whether you should take COMBIVIR.
  • Do not take COMBIVIR tablets after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack.
    If you take them after the expiry date has passed, they may not work as well.
  • Do not take COMBIVIR tablets if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.

If you're not