What should I know about lamivudine and zidovudine before taking it?

Before taking lamivudine-zidovudine (Combivir) you should know a few important things. One is that warnings have been issued by the United States Food and Drug Administration for lamivudine-zidovudine because of the risk of four serious side effects. These include: bone marrow toxicity with low white and red blood cell counts; muscle problems; high lactic acid levels and liver disease; and worsening of hepatitis B virus infection. Another thing of which you need to be aware, is that lamivudine-zidovudine is not a cure for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and you will still require regular medical care. It also will not prevent you from being able to transmit HIV to another person. You should also know that lamivudine-zidovudine can interact with many other medications, and you should not take it if you are being prescribed any other medication that contains either lamivudine or zidovudine. The drug may also not be safe for you if you have significant kidney, liver, pancreas, muscle or blood disease. In addition, you should be aware that once you start taking lamivudine-zidovudine, you must commit to taking it on a regular basis. It is very important that you do not miss any doses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.