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Drug Dosing Toolkit: Epzicom

for Veterans and the Public

lamivudine + Abacavir (Epzicom)

Type of Drug: Fixed-Dose Combination
Fixed-dose combinations include several medications in 1 pill.

Bring a printout of this page to discuss with your doctor during your next visit. List your questions at the bottom of the page.

Approved adult dosing

Abacavir (Ziagen) 600 mg + lamivudine (Epivir) 300 mg in a single tablet

one tablet Epzicom once a day

  • Once daily
    Epzicom (Ziagen + Epivir)

    abacavir + lamivudine (Epzicom)

Note: Generic formulations are available: these generic pills may have different shapes and colors than the one shown above.

Notes on taking this medication

  • No food restrictions, can take with or without food
  • Do not take abacavir + lamivudine with emtricitabine (Emtriva)
  • Before taking abacavir + lamivudine, you should be tested to see if you are at risk of a serious allergic reaction to the abacavir (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 abacavir (Ziagen).
  • Persons with kidney problems may need an adjustment to their doses of the component drugs, so may not be able to take this combination pill

Same possible side effects as

Abacavir (Ziagen)

  • Mild nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; loss of appetite
  • Rash
  • Allergic reaction, see below

Lamivudine (Epivir)

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

See accompanying chart: Tips for Common Side Effects

Possible side effects

    Caution! Abacavir (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 abacavir, 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 abacavir and never take it again. Starting it again can cause serious illness or death. Make sure you tell your pharmacist if you are allergic to abacavir.


    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.