Generic Name: abacavir + lamivudine

Pronunciation: EP-zih-com

Abbreviation: ABC + 3TC

Other Market Name: Kivexa (EU)

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

Pharmaceutical Company: ViiV Healthcare

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: No

Experimental Code: N/A


Drug Recommendation

A component of recommended and alternative treatment regimens for antiretroviral-naive people living with HIV, as indicated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Visit https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/guidelines/html/1/adult-and-adolescent-arv-guidelines/0 for the full DHHS guidelines.


General Info

Epzicom is an HIV medication. It is in a category of HIV medicines called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Epzicom was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by people living with HIV in August 2004.

Epzicom is a coformulation of two drugs: Ziagen (abacavir) and Epivir (lamivudine). Epzicom should be prescribed by a healthcare provider for patients who need both of these drugs. Both of these drugs can still be purchased individually for use in combination with other HIV drugs.

Epzicom must be combined with at least one other HIV drug, usually an integrase inhibitor, protease inhibitor, or a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor.


Dosage

Adult Dose: One tablet once a day. Each table contains 600mg abacavir + 300mg lamivudine.

Pediatric Dose: N/A

Dosing Info: Take with or without food. Contains abacavir and should only be used by patients who have tested negative for HLA-B*5701 (see below).


Side Effects

Serious allergic reactions (hypersensitivity reaction) that can cause death have happened with Epzicom and other abacavir-containing products. Your risk of this allergic reaction is much higher if you have a gene variation called HLA-B*5701. Your healthcare provider can determine with a blood test if you have this gene variation.

Symptoms of hypersensitivity reaction may include fever, rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, malaise, fatigue, or respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath.

Common side effects among people using Epzicom as a component of a treat regimen include: hypersensitivity reaction, insomnia, depression/depressed mood, headache/migraine, fatigue/malaise, dizziness/vertigo, nausea, and diarrhea.

Some studies suggest that current or recent use of regimens containing abacavir can increase the risk of a heart attack. However, this risk has not been confirmed by other studies.


Drug Interactions

Methadone: An increased methadone dose may be required in a small number of patients.

Epzicom should not be combined with any HIV medications that contain any of the active ingredients in Epzicom. These include: Epivir, Triumeq, Trizivir, and Ziagen. Combining Epzicom with HIV medications containing active ingredients similar to those in Epzicom should also be avoided. These include: Atripla, Complera, Emtriva, and Genvoya.

Other durg interactions are possible. Consult the Epizcom package insert for more details: http://www.viivhealthcare.com/media/70430/us_epzicom.pdf


Other Info

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or any previous experience with a regimen containing abacavir. 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.


For More Info: http://www.viivhealthcare.com/media/70430/us_epzicom.pdf

Co-Pay Program Info: https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/drug-assistance-programs

Patient Assistance Program Info: https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/drug-assistance-programs

Last Revised: July 15, 2016