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Drug Dosing Toolkit: Epzicom

for Veterans and the Public

Epzicom (Epivir + Ziagen)

Type of Drug: Fixed-Dose Combination

Fixed-dose combinations combine the most commonly prescribed doses of several medications into 1 pill.

Approved adult dosing

Epivir 300 mg + Ziagen 600 mg in a single tablet

one tablet Epzicom once a day

  • Daily
    Epzicom (Ziagen + Epivir)

    Epzicom

Notes on taking this medication

  • No food restrictions, can take with or without food
  • Do not take Epzicom with Emtriva
  • Before taking Epzicom, you should be tested to see if you are at risk of a serious allergic reaction to the Ziagen component. The test is a blood test for a genetic marker called HLA B5701.
  • Do not take if you are positive for HLA B5701 or allergic to abacavir (Ziagen). Tell your pharmacist if your provider tells you that you are "allergic" to Epzicom or Ziagen.
  • Persons with kidney problems may need an adjustment to their doses of the component drugs, and have to take them separately, not as a single pill

Same side effects as

Epivir

  • Side effects are rare but include headaches and general sense of feeling ill
  • Epivir is active against hepatitis B, and stopping it can cause "flare-up" of hepatitis B

Ziagen

  • Mild nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; loss of appetite
  • Rash

Caution! Ziagen can cause a serious allergic reaction that includes at least 2 of the following: fever, malaise, severe nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and rash. Symptoms usually begin within 6 weeks of starting medication. Before taking Ziagen, you should be tested for HLA B5701.

If you think you are having an allergic reaction, call your doctor at once. If allergic, you will have to stop Ziagen and never take it again. Make sure you tell your pharmacist that you are allergic to Ziagen. Starting it again can cause serious illness or death. Make sure you tell your pharmacist if you are allergic to Ziagen.

See accompanying chart: Tips for Common Side Effects

My doctor's instructions

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to substitute for advice from your medical provider or pharmacist. If you have any questions about your medication dosing, talk to your medical provider or pharmacist.