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Common Side Effects of Lamivudine/Zidovudine

The exact formulation of lamivudine/zidovudine (the two different medications in the same tablet) has not been studied in clinical trials. However, the combination of zidovudine and lamivudine in two separate tablets or capsules has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, the most common side effects included:
  • Headaches -- in up to 35 percent of people
  • Nausea -- up to 33 percent
  • A general ill feeling (malaise) and fatigue -- up to 27 percent
  • Nasal symptoms -- up to 20 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 18 percent
  • Cough -- up to 18 percent
  • Nausea and vomiting -- up to 13 percent
  • Muscle or bone pain -- up to 12 percent
  • Nerve problems, including unusual sensations (such as burning or tingling) -- up to 12 percent
  • Insomnia -- up to 11 percent (see Combivir and Insomnia).
Other common side effects (occurring in 5 to 10 percent of people) included:
  • Fever or chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Stomach cramps
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • Joint pain.

Final Thoughts on Side Effects of Lamivudine/Zidovudine

You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell whether any particular side effect (such as nausea) is actually caused by lamivudine/zidovudine or other factors. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking the drug or if something "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect of lamivudine/zidovudine, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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