Generic Name: zidovudine + lamivudine

Pronunciation: COM-bih-veer

Abbreviation: AZT + 3TC

Other Market Name: N/A

Drug Class: Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)

Company: ViiV Healthcare

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: Yes

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

Not part of a recommended or alternative treatment regimen for antiretroviral-naive people living with HIV, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Visit for the full DHHS guidelines.

General Info

Combivir is an HIV medication. It is in a category of HIV medicines called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Combivir was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by people living with HIV in 1997.

Combivir is a combination of two drugs: Retrovir (zidovudine) and Epivir (lamivudine). Both of these drugs can still be purchased individually for use in combination with other HIV drugs.

Combivir must be used in combination with other HIV drugs.


Adult Dose: One tablet twice a day. Each tablet contains 300mg zidovudine + 150mg lamivudine.

Pediatric Dose: Patients weighing more than 66lbs (30kg): One tablet twice a day. Each tablet contains 300mg zidovudine + 150mg lamivudine.

Dosing Info: Take with or without food, however taking with food may minimize stomach upset.

Side Effects

Bone marrow problems, such as decreased production of red blood cells and/or white blood cells, can occur in people talking zidovudine.

A rare but potentially serious side effect of zidovudine is myopathy (damage to the muscles, including the heart). People who use zidovudine for a long period of time, meaning several years, are at the greatest risk for myopathy. General symptoms of myopathy include weakness of limbs, usually proximal (located close to the center of the body).

If you have hepatitis B and plan to stop taking Combivir, your doctor might want to frequently check your liver enzymes after stopping treatment. This is because the lamivudine in Combivir is also active against the hepatitis B virus (HBV). If lamivudine is stopped abruptly, it can cause liver disease to “flare” and damage the liver.

Drug Interactions

For a review of drug interactions, including prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements that should not be taken with Combivir or may require dose adjustments, consult the Combivir package insert:

Other Info

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or liver disease. In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, and all your medical conditions, including all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you are taking.

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Last Reviewed: July 15, 2016