Epzicom is an antiviral medication that is prescribed to treat people with the human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV. The two active ingredients of Epzicom are Abacavir and Lamivudine; both are classified as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), or “nukes”. Epzicom is not a cure for HIV and does not protect others from contracting this virus through sexual intercourse, sharing injection drug paraphernalia, or from mother to child through breast-feeding.
When taken as directed, generic Abacavir/Lamivudine works to block the reverse transcriptase enzyme or protein that is essential for the virus to be able to make new viruses that will carry on to infect more cells. Lamivudine is actually a prodrug that turns into its active form once inside your body. By blocking this action, Epzicom reduces the amount of virus in your body (known as viral load) and your T cells may increase your immune system’s abilities.
HIV drugs are always prescribed as combinations of two or more active ingredients as a way to slow down the virus’ ability to become resistant. The virus may become resistant to one of the two or more medications and the other drug or drugs will continue to block its progression. Regular blood testing will allow your doctor to tell if your dosage needs adjusting or the drug combination therapy should be changed.
Antiretroviral drugs such as Epzicom or generic Abacavir/Lamivudine help to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This lowers your chance of HIV complications such as new infections and improves your lifespan and quality of life.
Certain medical conditions may make it unsafe for you to take Epzicom so discuss your medical history with your doctor and provide a list of current medications you are taking or using as combining certain drugs can affect how they work in your body or can cause a negative interaction. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or become pregnant during treatment as it is unknown whether Epzicom could harm your unborn baby. Do not breast-feed your baby as HIV can be contracted through breast milk.
Keep close tabs on Epzicom and your other HIV medication refills as missing several doses may cause you to have an unsafe allergic reaction when you try to restart the drugs. Never share you meds with anyone else and always store them out of children’s reach.
Serious side effects need to be reported to a physician right away, and these can include any kind of rash, an enlarged thyroid, increased sweating, unexplained weight loss, prickly feeling or weakness in your toes or fingers, signs of a new infection, mouth sores, tremors in your hands, and loss of bowel or bladder control.