lamivudine (3tc) (Epivir; Epivir HBV)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

GENERIC NAME: lamivudine (3tc)

BRAND NAME: Epivir, Epivir HBV




  • Lamivudine is used for the treatment of HIV infection and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
  • It also is used off-label for prevention of HIV among individuals accidentally exposed to HIV.


  • Lactic acidosis, severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, may occur from use of lamivudine.
  • Severe acute flare up of hepatitis B has been reported in patients infected with hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus after stopping lamivudine. Liver function should be monitored in these patients and anti-hepatitis B treatment should be started if needed.
  • The dose for treating HIV infection is different from the dose for treating hepatitis B infection.


The most severe side effects of lamivudine are:

Other important side effects are

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/22/2016

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