Compare Epzicom vs. Isentress

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Epzicom
(abacavir / lamivudine)

Isentress
(Raltegravir)

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) contains two medicines in one tablet, used with other medicines, to treat HIV infection. Your doctor does need to test you before you start it to make sure you don't get an allergic reaction.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. This is the first medication approved as an Integrase Inhibitor (InSTI), so it may be a great, but somewhat expensive, option for people who have already tried other drugs and need another option.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Isentress (Raltegravir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
EpzicomIsentress
  • Anxiety 3%
  • Abdominal pain & inflammation 4%
  • Abnormal dreams 4%
  • Nausea 5%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Rash 5%
  • Fever 5%
  • Fatigue/Malaise 6%
  • Dizziness/Vertigo 6%
  • Insomnia 7%
More Epzicom side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Isentress side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Isentress »
How it works
EpzicomIsentress
Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) contains two different nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. It treats HIV infections by preventing the virus from multiplying in your immune cells.Isentress stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.
Type of medication
EpzicomIsentress
Lower-cost generic availablePrescription onlyNo lower cost generic available
Available as
EpzicomIsentress
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
EpzicomIsentress
  • HIV Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
EpzicomIsentress
  • Previous allergic reaction to Triumeq or abacavir
  • Presence of HLA-B*5701 gene
  • Liver disease
  • Women
  • Obesity
Detailed Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) risks & warnings »
  • Prior severe allergic reaction to Isentress
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Certain drugs can increase the dose of Isentress in the body
  • HIV
Detailed Isentress (Raltegravir) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
EpzicomIsentress
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when taking Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine).
No alcohol related info.
Food
EpzicomIsentress
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Take Isentress with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
EpzicomIsentress
  • Severe worsening of Hepatitis B has been seen in patients who have stopped taking Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine). Your doctor will do regular blood tests to check your liver. Immediately report any signs of liver problems (jaundice, dark urine, yellowing of eyes, etc.) to your doctor.
  • Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) isn't recommended if you'll need to adjust the dose of medications due to problems like kidney and/or liver damage.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
EpzicomIsentress
No pain related info.
  • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis), and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
Weight
EpzicomIsentress
  • Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) can be taken by children weighng at least 55lbs (25kg) or more.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
EpzicomIsentress
  • Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) contains two first choice medicines used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV infections.
  • Compared to other HIV medicines, Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) does not have as many drug interactions with other medicines.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) can be taken by children weighng at least 55lbs (25kg) or more.
  • If having difficulty swallowing the tablet, consider the chewable tablet or oral suspension.
  • Only one tablet taken two times a day.
  • Can be used for kids 4 weeks and older.
  • May be helpful if other HIV drugs have stopped working since Isentress works differently than most HIV drugs.
Downsides and risks
EpzicomIsentress
  • Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) isn't recommended if you'll need to adjust the dose of medications due to problems like kidney and/or liver damage.
  • Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) can increase your risk of heart attack, especially if you have other heart-related issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke.
  • Severe allergic reactions have happened in some patients taking Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine). Your doctor will test you for any possible risk of reaction before starting Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine).
  • Tablets, chewable tablets, and the oral suspension all have different doses, so talk to your doctor if you want to switch from one to another.
  • The oral suspension has to be taken within 30 minutes of mixing it.
  • Avoid taking antacids that contain aluminum and/or magnesium while taking Isentress.
  • Let your doctor know right away if while taking Isentress you begin to feel unexplained muscle pain.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
EpzicomIsentress
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when taking Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine).
  • Immediately report any signs of liver problems (jaundice, dark urine, yellowing of eyes, etc.) or sensitivity reactions (rash, fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, etc.) to your doctor.
  • Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) will not stop HIV from being transmitted so continue to practice safe behaviors that can stop this from happening, like safer sex and drug use habits.
  • Don't stop taking Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine) without talking to your doctor first, especially if you have hepatitis B.
  • Set two times during the day, one in the morning and one in the evening that you will remember to take Isentress.
  • Take Isentress with or without food.
  • Isentress can make you tired, so avoid other medications or drinks that will add to the problem.
  • If being used for kids, the dose of Isentress will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
Learn more
More about EpzicomSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Epzicom (abacavir / lamivudine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about IsentressSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Isentress (Raltegravir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it