lamivudine solution - 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. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.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.
SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Some people may experience worsening of a previous medical condition (such as an old infection) as their immune systems improve, or develop new conditions because their immune systems have become overactive. This reaction may occur at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unexplained weight loss, persistent muscle aches/weakness, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, severe tiredness, vision changes, severe/persistent headaches, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores), signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter), signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (such as difficulty breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, slurred speech).Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as depression), stomach/back pain with nausea (pancreatitis).Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, signs of anemia (unusual tiredness, rapid heartbeat, pale/bluish skin).Changes in body fat (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs) may occur while you are taking HIV medication. The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor, as well as the possible role of exercise to reduce this side effect.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
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