What are the uses for lamivudine?
- 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.
What brand names are available for lamivudine?
Epivir, Epivir HBV
Is lamivudine available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for lamivudine?
What are the side effects of lamivudine?
The most severe side effects of lamivudine are:
- liver failure,
- metabolic disturbance (lactic acidosis),
- a decrease in blood cells,
- muscle pain,
- weakness, and
- nerve damage in the extremities (peripheral neuropathy). Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are tingling, numbness and pain in the feet or hands.
Other important side effects are
Which drugs or supplements interact with lamivudine?
Is lamivudine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about lamivudine?
What preparations of lamivudine are available?
- Tablets: 100, 150, and 300 mg
- Oral solution: 5, 10 mg/ml
How should I keep lamivudine stored?
Tablets and solution should be stored at room temperature between 15 C and 30 C (59 F and 86 F).
Lamivudine (3tc) (Epivir; Epivir HBV) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of HIV infection and hepatitis B infection. The most serious side include muscle pain, liver failure, pancreatitis, and liver failure. Drug interactions, and dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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Related Disease Conditions
Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G)
Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or another virus (such as those that cause infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus disease). The main nonviral causes of hepatitis are alcohol and drugs. Many patients infected with hepatitis A, B, and C have few or no symptoms of illness. For those who do develop symptoms of viral hepatitis, the most common are flu-like symptoms including: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, weakness, tiredness, and aching in the abdomen. Treatment of viral hepatitis is dependent on the type of hepatitis.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection left untreated causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called a retrovirus, which can infect humans when it comes in contact with tissues that line the vagina, anal area, mouth, or eyes, or through a break in the skin. HIV infection is generally a slowly progressive disease in which the virus is present throughout the body at all stages of the disease. Three stages of HIV infection have been described. The initial stage of infection (primary infection), which occurs within weeks of acquiring the virus, often is characterized by the flu- or mono-like illness that generally resolves within weeks. The stage of chronic asymptomatic infection (meaning a long duration of infection without symptoms) lasts an average of eight to 10 years without treatment. The stage of symptomatic infection, in which the body's immune (or defense) system has been suppressed and complications have developed, is called the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The symptoms are caused by the complications of AIDS, which include one or more unusual infections or cancers, severe loss of weight, and intellectual deterioration (called dementia). When HIV grows (that is, by reproducing itself), it acquires the ability to change (mutate) its own structure. These mutations enable the virus to become resistant to previously effective drug therapy. The goals of drug therapy are to prevent damage to the immune system by the HIV virus and to halt or delay the progress of the infection to symptomatic disease. Therapy for HIV includes combinations of drugs that decrease the growth of the virus to such an extent that the treatment prevents or markedly delays the development of viral resistance to the drugs. The best combination of drugs for HIV are those that effectively suppress viral replication in the blood and also are well tolerated and simple to take so that people can take the medications consistently without missing doses.
Is Hepatitis Contagious?
Hepatitis means "inflammation of the liver," and there are several different types of such as A, B, C, D, and E. Some types of hepatitis are contagious and some types are not. Hepatitis symptoms vary upon the type of disease; however, the following symptoms may develop in someone with hepatitis: fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and discomfort, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), and loss of appetite. Treatment for hepatitis depends upon the cause. Some types of hepatitis have a vaccine to prevent spread of disease such as hepatitis A and B.
Is Hepatitis B Contagious?
Hepatitis B is a type of liver infection. Hepatitis B is spread through person-to-person contact or through personal items like razors, toothbrushes, etc. Symptoms of hepatitis B include fever, yellowish skin (jaundice), dark urine, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. There is no drug to cure hepatitis B; however, there is a hepatitis B vaccine available.
Hepatitis B (HBV, Hep B)
The hepatitis B virus (HBV, hep B) is a unique, coated DNA virus belonging to the Hepadnaviridae family of viruses. The course of the virus is determined primarily by the age at which the infection is acquired and the interaction between the virus and the body's immune system. Successful treatment is associated with a reduction in liver injury and fibrosis (scarring), a decreased likelihood of developing cirrhosis and its complications, including liver cancer, and a prolonged survival.
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV infection. Symptoms and signs of AIDS include pneumonia due to Pneumocystis jiroveci, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, seizures, weakness, meningitis, yeast infection of the esophagus, and Kaposi's sarcoma. Anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) is used in the treatment of AIDS.
Treatment & Diagnosis
- HIV-AIDS FAQs
- Liver Disease FAQs
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- Drug Interactions
- abacavir, Ziagen
- Retrovir (zidovudine, ZDV, formerly called AZT)
- What Are NRTIs in Antiretroviral Therapy For HIV Infection?
- efavirenz (Sustiva)
- Dovato (dolutegravir and lamivudine)
- Side Effects of Epivir (lamivudine)
- didanosine (Videx, Videx EC)
- delavirdine (Rescriptor)
- nevirapine (Viramune, Viramune XR)
- Temixys (lamivudine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate)
- Combivir (lamivudine and zidovudine)
- abacavir, lamivudine, zidovudine (Trizivir)
- Triumeq (abacavir, dolutegravir, and lamivudine)
- stavudine (Zerit)
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.