Brand names: Trizivir
Trizivir combines three drugs used to fight HIV, the deadly virus that undermines the immune system, leaving the body ever more vulnerable to infection, and eventually leading to AIDS. The components of Trizivir are all members of the category of HIV drugs known as nucleoside analogs:Abacavir (also called Ziagen)Lamivudine (also called Epivir or 3TC)Zidovudine (also called Retrovir, AZT, or ZDV)
Trizivir may be prescribed alone or in combination with other HIV drugs. It reduces the amount of HIV in the bloodstream, but does not completely cure the disease. You may still develop the rare infections and other complications that accompany HIV. Remember, too, that Trizivir does not reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.
The abacavir (Ziagen) component of Abacavir, Lamivudine, Zidovudine which can cause a serious, possibly fatal allergic reaction. You should stop taking Trizivir and seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, body aches, cough, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, fever, general ill feeling, nausea, shortness of breath, skin rash, severe peeling skin, sore throat, vomiting. These symptoms usually appear during the first 6 weeks of therapy, but may occur any time during treatment. If they do occur, do not take another dose of Trizivir until you've seen your doctor.
If you have to stop taking Trizivir because of this allergic reaction, you must never take Trizivir or Ziagen again. Once you've had such a reaction, taking either drug could lead to death within hours.
When your prescription for Trizivir is filled, the pharmacist will give you a "warning card" that lists the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Be sure to read it and to carry it with you.
Trizivir is usually taken twice a day, with or without food. It is important to take the medication exactly as prescribed and not to miss any doses. Be sure to refill your prescription before your supply runs out. If HIV drugs are stopped for even a short time, the virus can increase rapidly and may become harder to treat.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Trizivir.
Do not take Trizivir if you have ever had an allergic reaction to its abacavir component (either in Trizivir itself or as the drug Ziagen).
You also cannot take Trizivir if you weigh less than 90 pounds or have severe kidney disease
Trizivir has been known to cause liver problems and a serious medical condition called lactic acidosis. This condition is more likely to develop in women, people who are overweight, those at risk of liver disease, and patients who have been taking nucleoside analogs for a long time. Your doctor will perform blood tests to monitor for lactic acidosis. In addition, be alert for warning signs of the problem, such as persistent nausea and fatigue, and notify your doctor if they occur. Be sure to let your doctor know if you've had liver problems in the past. Trizivir is not recommended under these circumstances.
When first beginning therapy with Trizivir, your immune system may have an inflammatory reaction to other infections in your body, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis.
Treatment with Trizivir can cause serious blood disorders including anemia (low red blood cell count) and neutropenia (low white cell count). You will need to have frequent blood tests performed while you are taking Trizivir.
Prolonged treatment with Trizivir has the potential to cause diseases of the muscles. Be sure to tell your doctor about any muscle pain or weakness you experience.
Treatment with HIV drugs, including Trizivir, sometimes causes a redistribution of body fat, resulting in added weight around the waist, a "buffalo hump" of fat on the upper back, breast enlargement, and wasting of the face, arms, and legs. It's not known why this occurs, or what long-term effects it might have.
Do not combine Trizivir with Epivir, Combivir, Retrovir, or Ziagen, since these drugs contain ingredients in Trizivir. Also avoid Zerit while taking Trizivir.
In addition, if Trizivir is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either may be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Trizivir with the following:AlcoholAtovaquone (Mepron)Abacavir/lamivudine (Epzicom)Doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil, Rubex)Drugs used for bone marrow suppression and cancer therapyEmtricitabine/tenofovir (Truvada)Fluconazole (Diflucan)Ganciclovir (Cytovene)Interferon-alpha (Intron, Roferon)Lamivudine/zidovudine (Combivir)MethadoneNelfinavir (Viracept)Probenecid (Benemid)Ribavirin (Virazole)Ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra)Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)Valproic acid (Depakene)Zalcitabine (Hivid)
Abacavir (one of the components of Trizivir) may cause fetal defects, such as lowered body weight, problems with skeleton formation, and even stillbirth. Trizivir should be used only if the benefit to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the developing baby.
Because the virus can be passed to a baby through breast milk, breastfeeding is not recommended for mothers with HIV. Both lamivudine and zidovudine (components of Trizivir) appear in breast milk.
The recommended dose of Trizivir is 1 tablet twice daily with or without food.
Trizivir is not intended for children and adolescents who weigh less than 90 pounds. Teenagers who weigh more than 90 pounds receive the adult dose.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.