A phase I, repeat-dose, open-label study was conducted to determine the pharmacokinetics and safety of zidovudine and lamivudine, coadministered orally every 12 hours, in 16 neonates whose mothers were infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The prospective mothers had been stabilized on a zidovudine/lamivudine regimen since week 36 of pregnancy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. During 1 week postpartum, the mothers received zidovudine 300 mg plus lamivudine 150 mg every 12 hours and breastfed. Neonatal treatment was initiated 12 hours following birth with 4 mg/kg of zidovudine suspension plus 2 mg/kg of lamivudine solution every 12 hours; this regimen was continued for 1 week. Between days 1 and 7 of neonatal treatment, the neonatal oral clearance (CL/F) of zidovudine and lamivudine increased by 2-fold (p < 0.001) and 1.6-fold (p = 0.004), respectively, possibly reflecting maturation of intestinal hepatic and renal function occurring during the first week of life. Day 7/day 1 ratios for exposure (area under the serum concentration-time curve [AUC]) and maximum observed serum concentration (Cmax) were 0.48 and 0.63, respectively, for zidovudine and 0.64 and 0.73, respectively, for lamivudine. At the time of delivery, the geometric mean cord/maternal concentration ratio was 1.24 for zidovudine and 1.12 for lamivudine, indicating free passage of each drug across the placenta. The maternal and neonatal treatment regimens were well tolerated. The results of this study confirm that in the neonate, a convenient regimen combining zidovudine 4 mg/kg and lamivudine 2 mg/kg, administered orally every 12 hours, provides zidovudine serum exposure very similar to that reported with the standard neonatal zidovudine regimen of 2 mg/kg every 6 hours, as well as lamivudine serum exposure within the range reported in adults receiving lamivudine 150 mg twice a day and children receiving 4 mg/kg twice a day.