lamivudine - oral, Epivir (cont.)
USES: This drug is used with other medications to help control your HIV infection, thereby improving your quality of life. It may also lower your risk of complications from HIV (such as new infections, cancers). Lamivudine belongs to a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors-NRTI.Lamivudine is not a cure for HIV and it does not prevent the spread of HIV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination (such as sharing used needles).OTHER This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.This medication may also be used to prevent HIV infection after contact with the virus.A lower-strength lamivudine product is used for hepatitis B infection in people without HIV infection.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking lamivudine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.If you are taking HIV medications for the first time, you may experience symptoms of an old infection as your immune system begins to work better. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any trouble breathing, fever, new cough, vision problems, headaches, or skin problems.It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses. Do not increase your dose, take this drug more often than prescribed, or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
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