Drug Characteristics
  • Formulation
    • 300 mg tablets 
    • co formulated with Lamivudine as KIVEXA
    • co formulated with Zidovudine and Lamivudine as Trizivir
  • Dose

    600mg daily in one or 2 doses

    infant 2 mg/kg twice daily

  • Side Effects

    Life-threatening hypersensitivity reactions reported—characterised by fever or rash and possibly nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dyspnoea, cough, lethargy, malaise, headache, and myalgia

    symptoms usually appear in the first 6 weeks, but may occur at any time; monitor for symptoms every 2 weeks for 2 months; discontinue immediately if any symptom of hypersensitivity develops and do not rechallenge

  • Interactions

    see drug interactions website

  • Renal

    no significant issues

  • Hepatic

    Avoid in hepatic impairment

  • Pregnancy

    FDA cat C

    Despite the lack of licence for the use of antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy, with the exception of zidovudine in the third trimester, there is global consensus that women who conceive on effective cART should continue this throughout the pregnancy

    There are now more than 200 prospective reports of first-trimester exposure to Abacavir with no signal of increased risk

  • Other Information

    Recommended as alternative first line therapy in treatment guidelines

    Absolute contraindication if  HLA-B*5701 +ve check before treatment or if restarting treatment and HLA-B*5701 status not known—increased risk of potentially fatal hypersensitivity reaction.

    In presence of  HIV load greater than 100 000 copies/mLreduced efficacy in some studies ( note not with dolutegravir)

    Increased MI risk in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease (especially if 10-year cardiovascular risk greater than 20%)

    For more information please refer to the SPC and the HIV drug interactions website