lamivudine + zidovudine

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Combivir was the first approved combination tablet and consists of both lamivudine (3TC) 150mg and zidovudine (AZT) 300mg.

Combivir is not recommended for first-line therapy however zidovudine/lamivudine remains as the preferred option in pregnant women. This dual-NRTI has the most safety and efficacy data for both mother and newborn.

Combivir has been shown in multiple clinical trials to be a potent regimen with either a protease inhibitor or an NNRTI.

Basic info

Generic name lamivudine + zidovudine
Brand name Combivir
Also known as CBV
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 1998
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 150 mg/300 mg tablet

Taking it

Like most anti-HIV drugs, lamivudine + zidovudine must be taken in combination with other drugs to be completely effective. Commonly, lamivudine + zidovudine 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 150mg/300mg tablet twice a day. The tablets should be swallowed with a drink of water.

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.

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.

  • Common side effects may include nausea (upset stomach, feeling sick to the stomach), diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle pain, lipodystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, insomnia.
  • Less common side effects may include rash, blood disorders, muscle damage, neutropenia, hair loss, anaemia.
  • 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

If you take Combivir with Ribavirin it may cause or worsen anaemia. Care is needed if taking paracetamol.