Abacavir/lamivudine (Kivexa)

Kivexa (Epzicom) is a fixed-dose combination tablet combining 300mg lamivudine (3TC) and 600mg abacavir, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Abacavir and lamivudine are both nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs).

The standard dose of Kivexa is one tablet once a day, with or without food, in combination with at least one other anti-HIV drug. It is licensed for use in adults and children over 12 years of age. Its European Union and US marketing licence were both granted in 2004, under the trade names Kivexa and Epzicom and respectively.

Kivexa was licensed following demonstration that it had similar anti-HIV effects to once-daily lamivudine (Epivir) and abacavir (Ziagen) taken separately when they were combined with the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) efavirenz (Sustiva). In a study of 770 people on first-line therapy, success rates were similar in both two arms.1 Kivexa has also been shown to be as effective as its constituent drugs taken separately in treatment-experienced people. The efficacy of lamivudine and abacavir had already been demonstrated in previous studies.

A 2008 study in patients looking at adherence found that switching from separate abacavir and lamivudine formulations to fixed-dose Kivexa significantly improved adherence to therapy, using MEMS cap monitoring and patient satisfaction surveys.2

This drug is not recommended for use in pregnancy. For more information on lamivudine and abacavir, including side-effects, resistance and drug interactions, see lamivudine (Epivir) and abacavir (Ziagen).

Abacavir and lamivudine are also contained in the fixed-dose combination product Triumeq, combined with dolutegravir (see Triumeq for further information).


  1. Moyle G et al. Abacavir once or twice daily combined with once-daily lamivudine and efavirenz for the treatment of antiretroviral-naive HIV-infected adults: results of the Ziagen Once Daily in Antiretroviral Combination Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 38: 417-425, 2005
  2. Maitland D et al. Switching from twice-daily abacavir and lamivudine to the once-daily fixed-dose combination tablet of abacavir and lamivudine improves patient adherence and satisfaction with therapy. HIV Med 9(8): 667-672, 2008
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.