Mechanism of Action: Lamivudine: Intracellularly, lamivudine is phosphorylated to its active 5’-triphosphate metabolite, lamivudine triphosphate (3TC-TP). The principal mode of action of 3TC-TP is inhibition of reverse transcriptase (RT) via DNA chain termination after incorporation of the nucleotide analogue. 3TC-TP is a weak inhibitor of cellular DNA polymerases α, β, and γ.
Zidovudine: Intracellularly, zidovudine is phosphorylated to its active 5’-triphosphate metabolite, zidovudine triphosphate (ZDV-TP). The principal mode of action of ZDV-TP is inhibition of RT via DNA chain termination after incorporation of the nucleotide analogue. ZDV-TP is a weak inhibitor of the cellular DNA polymerases α and γ and has been reported to be incorporated into the DNA of cells in culture.
Antiviral Activity: Lamivudine Plus Zidovudine: In HIV-1-infected MT-4 cells, lamivudine in combination with zidovudine at various ratios exhibited synergistic antiretroviral activity.
Lamivudine: The antiviral activity of lamivudine against HIV-1 was assessed in a number of cell lines (including monocytes and fresh human peripheral blood lymphocytes) using standard susceptibility assays. EC50 values (50% effective concentrations) were in the range of 0.003 to 15 µM (1 µM = 0.23 mcg/mL). HIV-1 from therapy-naive subjects with no amino acid substitutions associated with resistance gave median EC50 values of 0.429 µM (range: 0.200 to 2.007 µM) from Virco (n = 92 baseline samples from COL40263) and 2.35 µM (1.37 to 3.68 µM) from Monogram Biosciences (n = 135 baseline samples from ESS30009). The EC50 values of lamivudine against different HIV-1 clades (A-G) ranged from 0.001 to 0.12 µM, and against HIV-2 isolates from 0.003 to 0.12 µM in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Ribavirin (50 µM) decreased the anti-HIV-1 activity of lamivudine by 3.5 fold in MT-4 cells.
Zidovudine: The antiviral activity of zidovudine against HIV-1 was assessed in a number of cell lines (including monocytes and fresh human peripheral blood lymphocytes). The EC50 and EC90 values for zidovudine were 0.01 to 0.49 µM (1 µM = 0.27 mcg/mL) and 0.1 to 9 µM, respectively. HIV-1 from therapy-naive subjects with no amino acid substitutions associated with resistance gave median EC50 values of 0.011 µM (range: 0.005 to 0.110 µM) from Virco (n = 92 baseline samples from COL40263) and 0.0017 µM (0.006 to 0.0340 µM) from Monogram Biosciences (n = 135 baseline samples from ESS30009). The EC50 values of zidovudine against different HIV-1 clades (A-G) ranged from 0.00018 to 0.02 µM, and against HIV-2 isolates from 0.00049 to 0.004 µM. In cell culture drug combination studies, zidovudine demonstrates synergistic activity with the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) abacavir, didanosine, lamivudine, and zalcitabine; the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) delavirdine and nevirapine; and the protease inhibitors (PIs) indinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir, and saquinavir; and additive activity with interferon alfa. Ribavirin has been found to inhibit the phosphorylation of zidovudine in cell culture.
Resistance: Lamivudine Plus Zidovudine Administered As Separate Formulations: In patients receiving lamivudine monotherapy or combination therapy with lamivudine plus zidovudine, HIV-1 isolates from most patients became phenotypically and genotypically resistant to lamivudine within 12 weeks. In some patients harboring zidovudine-resistant virus at baseline, phenotypic sensitivity to zidovudine was restored by 12 weeks of treatment with lamivudine and zidovudine. Combination therapy with lamivudine plus zidovudine delayed the emergence of amino acid substitutions conferring resistance to zidovudine.
HIV-1 strains resistant to both lamivudine and zidovudine have been isolated from patients after prolonged lamivudine and zidovudine therapy. Dual resistance required the presence of multiple amino acid substitutions, the most essential of which may be G333E. The incidence of dual resistance and the duration of combination therapy required before dual resistance occurs are unknown.
Lamivudine: Lamivudine-resistant isolates of HIV-1 have been selected in cell culture and have also been recovered from patients treated with lamivudine or lamivudine plus zidovudine. Genotypic analysis of isolates selected in cell culture and recovered from lamivudine-treated patients showed that the resistance was due to a specific amino acid substitution in the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase at codon 184 changing the methionine to either isoleucine or valine (Ml84V II).
Zidovudine: HIV-1 isolates with reduced susceptibility to zidovudine have been selected in cell culture and were also recovered from patients treated with zidovudine. Genotypic analyses of the isolates selected in cell culture and recovered from zidovudine-treated patients showed substitutions in the HIV-1 RT gene resulting in 6 amino acid substitutions (M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, T215Y or F, and K219Q) that confer zidovudine resistance. In general, higher levels of resistance were associated with greater number of amino acid substitutions.
Cross-Resistance: Cross-resistance has been observed among NRTIs.
Lamivudine Plus Zidovudine: Cross-resistance between lamivudine and zidovudine has not been reported. In some patients treated with lamivudine alone or in combination with zidovudine, isolates have emerged with a substitution at codon 184, which confers resistance to lamivudine. Cross-resistance to abacavir, didanosine, tenofovir, and zalcitabine has been observed in some patients harboring lamivudine-resistant HIV-1 isolates. In some patients treated with zidovudine plus didanosine or zalcitabine, isolates resistant to multiple drugs, including lamivudine, have emerged (see under Zidovudine below).
Lamivudine: See Lamivudine Plus Zidovudine (above).
Zidovudine: In a study of 167 HIV-1-infected patients, isolates (n = 2) with multi-drug resistance to didanosine, lamivudine, stavudine, zalcitabine, and zidovudine were recovered from patients treated for ≥1 year with zidovudine plus didanosine or zidovudine plus zalcitabine. The pattern of resistance-associated amino acid substitutions with such combination therapies was different (A62V, V75I, F77L, Fl16Y, Q151M) from the pattern with zidovudine monotherapy, with the Q151M substitution being most commonly associated with multi-drug resistance. The substitution at codon 151 in combination with substitutions at 62, 75, 77, and 116 results in a virus with reduced susceptibility to didanosine, lamivudine, stavudine, zalcitabine, and zidovudine. Thymidine analogue mutations (TAMs) are selected by zidovudine and confer cross-resistance to abacavir, didanosine, stavudine, tenofovir, and zalcitabine.
Carcinogenicity: Lamivudine: Long-term carcinogenicity studies with lamivudine in mice and rats showed no evidence of carcinogenic potential at exposures up to 10 times (mice) and 58 times (rats) those observed in humans at the recommended therapeutic dose for HIV-1 infection.
Zidovudine: Zidovudine was administered orally at 3 dosage levels to separate groups of mice and rats (60 females and 60 males in each group). Initial single daily doses were 30, 60, and 120 mg/kg/day in mice and 80, 220, and 600 mg/kg/day in rats. The doses in mice were reduced to 20, 30, and 40 mg/kg/day after day 90 because of treatment-related anemia, whereas in rats only the high dose was reduced to 450 mg/kg/day on day 91 and then to 300 mg/kg/day on day 279.
In mice, 7 late-appearing (after 19 months) vaginal neoplasms (5 nonmetastasizing squamous cell carcinomas, 1 squamous cell papilloma, and 1 squamous polyp) occurred in animals given the highest dose. One late-appearing squamous cell papilloma occurred vagina of a middle-dose animal. No vaginal tumors were found at the lowest dose.
In rats, 2 late-appearing (after 20 months), nonmetastasizing vaginal squamous cell carcinomas occurred in animals given the highest dose. No vaginal tumors occurred at the low or middle dose in rats. No other drug-related tumors were observed in either sex of either species.
At doses that produced tumors in mice and rats, the estimated drug exposure (as measured by AUC) was approximately 3 times (mouse) and 24 times (rat) the estimated human exposure at the recommended therapeutic dose of 100 mg every 4 hours.
It is not known how predictive the results of rodent carcinogenicity studies may be for humans.
Mutagenicity: Lamivudine: Lamivudine was mutagenic in an L5178Y/TK +/- mouse lymphoma assay and clastogenic in a cytogenetic assay using cultured human lymphocytes. Lamivudine was negative in a microbial mutagenicity assay, in an in vitro cell transformation assay, in a rat micronucleus test, in a rat bone marrow cytogenetic assay, and in an assay for unscheduled DNA synthesis in rat liver.
Zidovudine: Zidovudine was mutagenic in an L5178Y/TK +/- mouse lymphoma assay, positive in an in vitro cell transformation assay, clastogenic in a cytogenetic assay using cultured human lymphocytes, and positive in mouse and rat micronucleus tests after repeated doses. It was negative in a cytogenetic study in rats given a single dose.
Impairment of Fertility: Lamivudine: In a study of reproductive performance, lamivudine, administered to male and female rats at doses up to 130 times the usual adult dose based on body surface area considerations, revealed no evidence of impaired fertility (judged by conception rates) and no effect on the survival, growth, and development to weaning of the offspring.
Zidovudine: Zidovudine, administered to male and female rats at doses up to 7 times the usual adult dose based on body surface area considerations, had no effect on fertility judged by conception rates.
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