Compare Epzicom vs. Retrovir

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

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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 drugs to treat HIV infection or prevents transmission to your baby.

Retrovir (zidovudine) is not the first choice to treat HIV because of its side effects.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Retrovir (zidovudine) is safe and effective for children and infants.
  • Retrovir (zidovudine) is available in several single-pill combination tablets so you don't need to take as many pills.
Downsides
  • 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).
  • Retrovir (zidovudine) can cause serious blood, muscle, and liver problems.
  • Many people experience nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and headache when taking Retrovir (zidovudine).
  • Taking Retrovir (zidovudine) can raise your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
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Used for
  • HIV infection
  • Prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission
  • HIV Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP)
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
13possible side effects
  • Severe allergic reaction
    9%
  • Insomnia
    7%
  • Depression/Depressed mood
    7%
  • Headache/Migraine
    7%
  • Fatigue/Malaise
    6%
  • Dizziness/Vertigo
    6%
  • Nausea
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    5%
  • Rash
    5%
  • Fever
    5%
  • Abdominal pain & inflammation
    4%
  • Abnormal dreams
    4%
  • Anxiety
    3%
See more detailed side effects
12possible side effects
  • Fever
    25%
  • Cough
    15%
  • Skin rashes
    12%
  • Enlarged liver
    11%
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
    9%
  • Nausea and vomiting
    8%
  • Diarrhea
    8%
  • Nasal discharge or congestion
    8%
  • Wheezing
    7%
  • Pain in the ear
    7%
  • Swelling of the mouth
    6%
  • Enlarged spleen
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Severe allergic reaction
    • Previous allergic reaction to Triumeq or abacavir
    • Presence of HLA-B*5701 gene
  • Lactic acidosis and Fatty liver
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity
  • Acute exacerbation of hepatitis B virus (HBV)
    • Hepatitis B virus
  • Fat redistribution
    • HIV treatment
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
  • Heart attack
    • History of coronary heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Dyslipidemia
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Smoking
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Blood and bone marrow problems
    • Advanced HIV
    • Anemia
    • Neutropenia
  • Muscle and kidney damage
    • Extended use of Retrovir (zidovudine)
  • Acid build-up in the blood
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity
  • Fat redistribution
    • HIV treatment
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
See more detailed risks and warnings