How does lamivudine and zidovudine treat HIV infection?

Lamivudine-zidovudine treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection through the action of its two components, lamivudine and zidovudine. They both belong to the same class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Drugs in this class work by blocking the enzyme, reverse transcriptase, which HIV needs to replicate. Lamivudine-zidovudine does not kill the HIV, so it does not help the cells that are already infected with the virus. However, because it prevents the HIV from replicating, the virus cannot infect new cells. This is why these drugs do not cure the disease, but they slow its rate of progression. Using the combination of lamivudine and zidovudine is more effective than using either drug alone. When these drugs are used alone, therapy becomes ineffective if the virus becomes resistant to the medications. Combining two drugs decreases the possibility that the HIV becomes resistant to both drugs. Similarly, when lamivudine-zidovudine is used to treat HIV infection, it is combined with other anti-HIV medications. This is also done to reduce the chances of the virus becoming resistant to the therapy.

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