"The study of 18 patients is the first to show that the drug does not require the presence of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) to suppress HIV in patients. The researchers hope to confirm their results in a larger study.
"These findings ar"...
(abacavir and lamivudine) Tablets
HYPERSENSITIVITY REACTIONS, LACTIC ACIDOSIS AND SEVERE HEPATOMEGALY, and EXACERBATIONS OF HEPATITIS B
Serious and sometimes fatal hypersensitivity reactions, with multiple organ involvement, have occurred with abacavir, a component of EPZICOM® (abacavir and lamivudine). Patients who carry the HLA-B*5701 allele are at a higher risk of a hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir; although, hypersensitivity reactions have occurred in patients who do not carry the HLA-B*5701 allele [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
EPZICOM is contraindicated in patients with a prior hypersensitivity reaction to abacavir and in HLA-B*5701-positive patients [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. All patients should be screened for the HLA-B*5701 allele prior to initiating therapy with EPZICOM or reinitiation of therapy with EPZICOM, unless patients have a previously documented HLA-B*5701 allele assessment. Discontinue EPZICOM immediately if a hypersensitivity reaction is suspected, regardless of HLA-B*5701 status and even when other diagnoses are possible [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Following a hypersensitivity reaction to EPZICOM, NEVER restart EPZICOM or any other abacavir-containing product because more severe symptoms, including death, can occur within hours. Similar severe reactions have also occurred rarely following the reintroduction of abacavir-containing products in patients who have no history of abacavir hypersensitivity [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Lactic Acidosis and Severe Hepatomegaly with Steatosis
Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues and other antiretrovirals. Discontinue EPZICOM if clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity occur [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Exacerbations of Hepatitis B
Severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B have been reported in patients who are co-infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and have discontinued lamivudine, which is a component of EPZICOM. Hepatic function should be monitored closely with both clinical and laboratory follow-up for at least several months in patients who discontinue EPZICOM and are co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV. If appropriate, initiation of anti-hepatitis B therapy may be warranted [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
EPZICOM tablets contain the following 2 synthetic nucleoside analogues: abacavir (ZIAGEN, also a component of TRIZIVIR®) and lamivudine (also known as EPIVIR or 3TC) with inhibitory activity against HIV-1.
EPZICOM tablets are for oral administration. Each orange, film-coated tablet contains the active ingredients 600 mg of abacavir as abacavir sulfate and 300 mg of lamivudine, and the inactive ingredients magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and sodium starch glycolate. The tablets are coated with a film (OPADRY® orange YS-1-13065-A) that is made of FD&C Yellow No. 6, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400, polysorbate 80, and titanium dioxide.
The chemical name of abacavir sulfate is (1S,cis)-4-[2-amino-6-(cyclopropylamino)-9H-purin-9yl]-2-cyclopentene-1-methanol sulfate (salt) (2:1). Abacavir sulfate is the enantiomer with 1S, 4R absolute configuration on the cyclopentene ring. It has a molecular formula of (C14H18N6O)2•H2SO4 and a molecular weight of 670.76 g per mol. It has the following structural formula:
Abacavir sulfate is a white to off-white solid and is soluble in water.
In vivo, abacavir sulfate dissociates to its free base, abacavir. Dosages are expressed in terms of abacavir.
The chemical name of lamivudine is (2R,cis)-4-amino-1-(2-hydroxymethyl-1,3-oxathiolan-5-yl)(1H)-pyrimidin-2-one. Lamivudine is the (-)enantiomer of a dideoxy analogue of cytidine. Lamivudine has also been referred to as (-)2',3'-dideoxy, 3'-thiacytidine. It has a molecular formula of C8H11N3O3S and a molecular weight of 229.3 g per mol. It has the following structural formula:
Lamivudine is a white to off-white crystalline solid and is soluble in water.
What are the possible side effects of abacavir and lamivudine (Epzicom)?
Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of an allergic reaction from two or more of these specific side effect groups:
- Group 1 - fever;
- Group 2 - rash;
- Group 3 - nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain;
- Group 4 - general ill feeling, extreme tiredness, body aches;
- Group 5 - shortness of breath, cough, sore throat.
Once you have had an allergic reaction to this medication, you must never use it again. If you stop taking abacavir and lamivudine for any reason, talk to your...
What are the precautions when taking abacavir sulfate and lamivudine tablets (Epzicom)?
Before taking abacavir/lamivudine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to either of these drugs; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, liver problems (such as hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis), disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis), alcohol use.
Abacavir may increase your risk of a heart attack. Discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with your doctor and ways to lower your risk of heart disease. Tell your doctor if you have heart problems, if you smoke, or if you have other conditions that increase your...
Last reviewed on RxList: 10/23/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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