Compare Ziagen vs. Combivir

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

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Ziagen (abacavir)

Prescription only
Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection.

Ziagen (abacavir) is a first-choice medication that is used with others to treat HIV. It's important that your doctor test you for allergic reactions to Ziagen (abacavir) before starting the medication.

Treats HIV infection

While Combivir (lamivudine / zidovudine) isn't one of the first choices for treating HIV, it can still be an option if other HIV medications aren't working well for you.

Upsides
  • Ziagen (abacavir) is found in many other combination tablets.
  • Ziagen (abacavir) has few drug interactions.
  • People whose kidneys are not working as well can still take Ziagen (abacavir) without having to change its dose.
  • Kids 3 months and older can use Ziagen (abacavir).
  • Combivir (lamivudine / zidovudine) can be taken with or without food.
  • Combivir (lamivudine / zidovudine) can be taken by children and adolescents weighing 30kg (66lbs) or more.
  • Available in generic.
Downsides
  • Ziagen (abacavir) can increase your risk of heart attack.
  • This is not a great medication to take if you have liver problems.
  • Severe allergic reactions have happened in some patients taking Ziagen (abacavir). Your doctor will test you for any possible risk of reaction before starting Ziagen (abacavir).
  • Combivir (lamivudine / zidovudine) needs to be taken twice daily.
  • Combivir (lamivudine / zidovudine) may cause serious blood, muscle, and liver problems.
  • Combivir (lamivudine / zidovudine) is not recommended if you have kidney damage.
  • Combivir (lamivudine / zidovudine) can cause a lot of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, and malaise.
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Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
21possible side effects
  • Nausea
    19%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Fatigue and discomfort
    12%
  • Dreams/sleep disorders
    10%
  • Nausea and vomiting
    10%
  • Severe allergic reactions
    9%
  • Fever and/or chills
    9%
  • Headaches/migraine
    7%
  • Diarrhea
    7%
  • Skin rashes
    7%
  • Rashes
    6%
  • Stomach pain
    6%
  • Depression
    6%
  • Dizziness
    6%
  • Muscle and joint pain
    6%
  • Ear/nose/throat infections
    5%
  • Viral respiratory infections
    5%
  • Anxiety
    5%
  • Bronchitis
    4%
  • Pneumonia
    4%
  • Vomiting
    2%
See more detailed side effects
20possible side effects
  • Headache
    35%
  • Nausea
    33%
  • Malaise and fatigue
    27%
  • Nose-related problems
    20%
  • Diarrhea
    18%
  • Cough
    18%
  • Nausea and vomiting
    13%
  • Nerve problems
    12%
  • Bone pain
    12%
  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders
    11%
  • Fever or chills
    10%
  • Loss or decrease in appetite
    10%
  • Dizziness
    10%
  • Abdominal pain
    9%
  • Depression
    9%
  • Skin rashes
    9%
  • Muscle pain
    8%
  • Abdominal cramps
    6%
  • Indigestion
    5%
  • Joint pain
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Severe allergic reactions
    • Positive genetic test (HLA B5701)
  • Lactic acidosis & severe liver damage
    • Obesity
    • Women
    • History of liver problems
  • Immune system reactivation
  • Fat redistribution
  • Heart attack
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Diabetes
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Blood and bone marrow problems
    • Advanced HIV
    • Anemia
    • Neutropenia
  • Muscle damage
    • Taking Combivir (lamivudine / zidovudine) for a long time
  • Worsening of hepatitis B
    • Hepatitis B virus
  • Lactic acidosis | Enlarged, fatty liver
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
    • History of pancreatitis
See more detailed risks and warnings