abacavir + lamivudine

Home»Health & treatment»HIV treatment database»abacavir + lamivudine

Kivexa is a corformulation containing two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs): 300mg lamivudine (3TC) and 600mg abacavir (ABC).

About 5% of people have a genetic allergy to Abacavir that can result in an hypersensitivity reaction.  

Kivexa is as effective is often used by people taking treatment for the first time.

Basic info

Generic name abacavir + lamivudine
Brand name Kivexa
Also known as Epzicom (US)
Drug class Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Pediatric dosing? Available in doses suitable for children and/or young people.
Availability in Australia Available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) through S100 prescribers since 2005
This drug may be available through clinical trials in Australia.
You may be able to import this drug from overseas for your personal use.
Formulation 600mg/300mg tablet

Taking it

Like most anti-HIV drugs, abacavir + lamivudine must be taken in combination with other drugs to be completely effective. Commonly, abacavir + lamivudine is combined with one other nucleoside (NRTI) drug and either a protease inhibitor or non-nucleoside, although other combinations are sometimes used. Your doctor will advise you on the right combination of drugs to suit your circumstances.


The normal adult dose is one 300/600mg tablet once a day.

Regardless of what you read on this website or elsewhere, you should always take your medications according to your doctor's instructions. If you're unsure, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

With or without food

abacavir + lamivudine may be taken with or without food

Side effect

All drugs can produce side effects in some people. These may be mild, moderate or severe, so you should be aware of potential side effects before starting any drug, and speak to your doctor if you experience side effects that concern you.

  • Rare side effects may include Risk of serious hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction. Blood test required to check for this genetic allergy before taking Kivexa..
  • It's unlikely you will experience all of these side effects, and you may not experience any side effects at all. Before starting any new drug, ask your doctor about side effects you might experience and discuss strategies for dealing with side effects if they do occur. If you experience any significant side effect you should continue taking your medicine and see your doctor as soon as possible.

Interactions with other drugs

Potential drug interactions may be the same as those for abacavir and 3TC, the constituents of Kivexa. Alcohol may increase blood levels of abacavir. Abacavir may decrease levels of methadone, this does not usually require any dose adjusting. Lamivudine (3TC), a component of Kivexa should not be taken with intravenous foscarnet (Foscavir) or ganciclovir (Cymevene).