Kivexa (abacavir + 3TC)



  • Kivexa (tradename Kivexa in Europe and Epzicom in the US) a fixed dose combination of 3TC and abacavir. Generic versions include Dumiva.
  • Standard adult dose: 1 x tablet (containing 300 mg 3TC + 600 mg abacavir), once-daily.
  • Take with or without food.
  • Side effects: hypersensitvity reaction (from abacavir). A genetic test, called HLA B*5701, is now used in the UK that reduces this risk. A negative result does not guarantee that you will not get this reaction, but makes it much less likely. For more details see individual drugs.
  • Other notes: not recommended in people with a high risk of heart disease because some studies have shown that it increased this risk. It is also not recommended when viral load is above 100,000 copies/mL.
  • Do not take with FTC.

Abacavir hypersensitivty reaction

  • Symptoms of the reaction include fever, rash, headache, sore throat, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, flu-like aches etc that get progressively worse each day.
  • Anyone who gets these symptoms must seek urgent medical advice with a view to stopping the abacavir.
  • Once stopped, Kivexa must not be used again, as a worse reaction can return that is potentially fatal.

Further information

Information on hypersensitivity reactions and heart disease from the i-Base side effects guide.

The European patient information and detailed Product Information for Kivexa are available from this link on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website.

The Patient Information is a simplified summary: what the drug is, why it is used, results from studies and cautions including side effects.

The Product Information is a detailed technical summary that you can access as a PDF file by clicking the ‘Product Information’ tab. It describes more precisely how the drug works and how it is processed by your body. This includes, for example, reported food interaction studies in terms of calories or fat content. It includes more details of the study results and a full list of side effects and drug interactions.