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What is Trizivir®?

By Debra Durkee
Updated May 17, 2024
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Trizivir® is a medication used in the treatment of individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). An oral medication given in tablet form, the drug is not capable of ridding the body of the virus, but instead helps to keep it from reproducing. One of the major active ingredients is the generic drug abacavir.

Those on the medication can still spread the disease to other people, as well as spread illnesses they have contracted because of their weakened immune systems. Typically administered in conjunction with other types of medication, Trizivir® is usually one of a number of antiviral medications that can be prescribed to help manage the symptoms of HIV. It is typically administered once or twice a day, depending on the individual taking it. Properly following a health professional's prescribed drugs can help prevent the spread of HIV from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby, although it does not make breastfeeding safe.

There are a number of side effects associated with Trizivir®, which should not be taken by individuals under 90 pounds (about 40 kg). Mild side effects include headache, anxiety, and diarrhea. Some individuals have an allergic reaction to the drug, which can manifest as a loss of appetite, weakness, flu-like symptoms, and the development of white patches in and around the mouth. Missing several doses or allowing the prescription to run out before it is refilled can result in serious side effects or a reaction to suddenly stopping the drug.

One of the most common side effects of taking Trizivir® is the movement of fat in the body. Fat stores in the body may change shape, and commonly move to other areas like the back and stomach. Typically, fat will disappear from the arms and legs and move into the trunk of the body. Rarely, individuals have developed lactic acidosis, a condition in which an individual develops pain in the stomach and muscles, numbness, lethargy, and an erratic heartbeat. Symptoms are generally mild to begin with, but worsen over time; without medical attention, the condition can be fatal.

Trizivir® can make some pre-existing conditions worse. Individuals who have liver disease or damage are usually not prescribed the medication. A prescribing medical professional may require a patient to take several blood tests before beginning to take Trizivir®, as those with hepatitis B, kidney disease, or heart disease may require special considerations to safely start the drug. In some cases, individuals who have stopped taking the drug have developed side effects afterward, particularly those who have had hepatitis B.

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