Lamivudine+Zidovudine is used in combination with other medicines to treat Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection which can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
This medicine is not a cure for HIV infection. It only helps to keep the virus in check and can help improve the quality of life. It does not prevent the spread of HIV to other people.
Take Lamivudine+Zidovudine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Lamivudine+Zidovudine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue to take this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction (breathlessness, rashes, swollen eyes) to similar antiviral medications, low red blood cell count (anaemia) or low white blood cell count (neutropenia) as Lamivudine+Zidovudine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- pancreatic disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have HIV, it is best that you do not breastfeed as HIV passes into the breast milk. Avoid breastfeeding in order to reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby. It is recommended to give your baby commercial infant formula provided that you have access to clean water and facilities.
This medicine is not a cure for HIV. It only helps to slow down the development of HIV infection.
Lamivudine+Zidovudine does not reduce your risk of passing the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or through contamination with infected blood. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid spreading HIV to others.
This medicine may weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick to minimise the risk of catching an infection. Always keep your doctor updated on your condition and go for your appointed check-ups.
While being treated with Lamivudine+Zidovudine, you will need to have regular blood tests. These blood tests help your doctor monitor your condition and to ensure that your blood counts are normal.
Lamivudine+Zidovudine may make you feel dizzy. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, difficulty sleeping, fever, cough, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhoea, hair loss, muscle and joint pain and tiredness.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, increased heart rate, rapid breathing
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- numbness, tingling and pain in the arms or legs
- unusual weight gain, extra fat appearing around your neck or breast enlargement
- fever, chills, persistent cough, breathing problems or sore throat.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- probenecid (gout medicine)
- medicines for seizures (fits or epilepsy) e.g. phenytoin
- antibiotics e.g. pentamidine, dapsone, pyrimethamine, co-trimoxazole
- medicines to treat fungal infections e.g. amphotericin, flucytosine, fluconazole
- other medicines to treat viral infections e.g. ganciclovir
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Lamivudine+Zidovudine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.