• What type of medicine is this?

    • Abacavir is available in combination with another medicine (Lamivudine) in many HIV treatment programmes. It is available as a tablet or suspension to be taken by mouth. It is only given to you when your healthcare provider prescribes it.

      Abacavir can be used to treat HIV infection. Your healthcare provider can prescribe this medicine for you if you have tested positive to HIV. It is used alongside other antiviral medicines that treat HIV too.

    • What is the medicine used for?

    • Abacavir is an antiviral medicine that is used to treat HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection. It reduces the amount of HIV in your blood so that your immune system can work better. This medicine will only be given to you if you have a prescription from your healthcare provider. This drug can cause a serious allergic reaction. Do not use if you have reacted to it before, it can cause death.

    • How to take this medicine?

      • It is taken 1 to 2 times daily on an empty stomach (2 hours after a meal or 1 hour before meal).
      • It is important you do not miss a dose of this medicine, restarting it can cause a severe reaction.
      • In case you forget a dose, then take it as soon as you remember but if you remember at a time close to your next dose, then take only the next dose.
      • Do not add more doses or intentionally skip a dose. Doing this can put you at risk of an infection that is more difficult to treat.
      • If you take more of this medicine than what was prescribed for you, go to the nearest health centre (with the remaining medicine) and report the overdose.
    • What are the side-effects?

    • You may experience mildly uncomfortable effects of this medicine. They will usually go away within 2 to 3 days.
      Here are examples of some common side-effects you may experience:

      • Trouble sleeping and loss of appetite is very common within the first week.
      • You may have a headache that goes away in a day or two.
      • You may pass loose stools frequently.

      If these side effects do not resolve within 7 days, you should mention these or other discomforts to your healthcare provider.

      Serious side-effects you must report to your healthcare provider immediately:

      • If you have mood changes, are constantly sad, tired and have low energy.
      • If you have trouble breathing or speaking
      • If you experience tingling in your feet, have blurred vision or headaches that don’t go away.
    • What to know before taking this medicine?

    • It is important that you inform your healthcare provider if you have any disease condition. This will help them check your risk for any severe unpleasant effects.

      • Tell your healthcare provider if you have had another drug reaction before, even if they are unrelated to this one.
      • If you have liver disease, do not take this medicine.
      • This medicine may increase your risk of having a heart attack.
      • It is important that you stay away from alcohol while taking this medicine. This is because alcohol can increase the amount of this medicine in your blood and that can increase your risk of side-effects.
      • You should not take this medicine with the weight loss medicine, Orlistat.