1 What is Epzicom?

Brand: Epzicom

Generic: Abacavir - lamivudine

Epzicom is used in patients suffering from AIDS.

Abacavir reduces the viral load of the body by restricting the reproduction of viruses while lamivudine helps abacavir in the same action and also delays development of serious complications.

This is a strictly prescription drug which is available only in the form of tablets.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Epzicom, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it.

The decision of starting any new medication or any treatment method is done after the patient has informed the physician any doubts in his/her mind, and has also been informed of all the details by a physician.

Abacavir - lamivudine should be used according to a complete plan by a consulting doctor. It is a drug aimed for AIDS patients only and not prescribed to others.

Detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case it is preferred that a drug is started after it.

Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products; history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in the record to predict any drug interaction.

Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition by which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.

Age-specific assessment is necessary to make it even more useful. Its safety has not been determined in children due to lack of enough studies.

An elderly patient is more likely to have age-related liver, heart or kidney problems which may affect its functioning.

Its dangers in pregnant and breastfeeding women have not been established by enough studies. However, its use is restricted in such patients to avoid any fatal outcome to the mother or the baby.

Drug interactions may occur when many drugs are used together. There may be positive or negative effects on the working of this combination by other drugs.

If this drug is used with Ribavirin or dasabuvir, the doctor may change one of the two drugs to avoid potential complications.

When it is used with Tipranavir or methadone, the dose of these drugs may be decreased to avoid interactions. Alcohol, tobacco and certain types of food may also result in increased interactions.

Other medical conditions, by which the patient is suffering, should be reported to the physician prior to therapy.

The conditions like hyperlipidemia, hypertension, hepatitis B or history of hepatitis C diabetes, heart disease, genetic defects, and liver disease may change the way this drug acts and result in more interactions.

3 Proper Usage

To use Epzicom correctly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor.

The dosage of the drug depends on the severity of a medical condition.

It is a strictly prescription drug which comes with a warning letter which tells about problems if dose punctuality is not maintained.

It should be taken 1-2 times a day, with or without food, as prescribed by the doctor. It is important to maintain a steady dose as a decrease in its quantity in blood causes increase in viral load.

As viruses increase, they affect immune system much more strongly. There is also resistance developed in the viruses during this period.

If any dose is missed, take it as soon as possible, but if the time for the next dose has arrived, leave the missed dose and continue with the remaining cycle. Do not double dose.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Epzicom, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

Abacavir-lamivudine is a drug used by HIV patients and it is very important to know the tips by which its working can be enhanced or any condition which may worsen the condition can be avoided.

  • Regular visits to a doctor should be made sure to see if the drug is working properly.
  • Blood tests can be done to see any potential side effect.
  • Consult the doctor if any serious problem is suspected.
  • Do not start any medication, either prescription or non-prescription, without consulting the doctor.
  • Warning card is given when therapy with this medicine has begun. It must always be displayed on clinic visits and should be studied thoroughly for details or any queries.
  • Avoid sharing needles, razors or toothbrush with anyone. Use barrier methods of contraception to avoid a spread of HIV virus.
  • Storage of drug should in a dry environment with room temperature. Keep it away from the reach of children.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Epzicom.

Abacavir-lamivudine is a strong drug whose aim is to decrease viral load of HIV, making it a high-profile drug. With greater strength come greater unwanted effects.

This drug is associated with unwanted allergic reactions, fever, nausea, diarrhea, joint pain, tingling sensation in hands and feet, headache, blisters formation, constipation, convulsion, dark urine, loosening of skin, stomach pains, sensation of burning, numbness and shortness of breath, tiredness, vomiting and sore throat commonly.

Liver toxicity and lactic acidoses are the two rare and life-threatening complications. In females, an increase in weight is a common complaint.

Light-colored stools, loss of appetite, loss of bladder control, muscle cramps, muscle spasm or jerking of all extremities, pale skin, puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue red, irritated eyes redness of the skin red skin lesions, often with a purple center sleepiness sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth, sudden loss of consciousness swollen and tender lymph glands, chest tightness, trouble breathing are also reported.

Abnormal dreams, burning sensation in chest or stomach, fear or nervousness, feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings, lightheadedness, the sensation of spinning are the neurological manifestations of the drug combination.

Consult your physician in case of any side effect for its relief.