GENERIC NAME: LAMIVUDINE - ORAL (la-MIV-ue-deen)
BRAND NAME(S): Epivir
WARNING: Rarely, lamivudine has caused a severe (sometimes fatal) liver and blood problem (lactic acidosis). Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of liver problems (persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin) or lactic acidosis (rapid breathing, drowsiness, muscle aches).
If you have hepatitis B infection along with HIV, your hepatitis symptoms may get worse or become very serious if you stop taking lamivudine. Talk with your doctor before stopping this medication. Your doctor will perform liver function tests for several months after you stop lamivudine. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of worsening liver problems.
Different brands of this drug have different amounts of drug. Do not switch brands of this medication without first checking with your doctor. If you have HIV infection (with or without hepatitis B infection), you should be taking the higher-strength dosage. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.
USES: This drug is used with other HIV medications to help control HIV infection. It helps to decrease the amount of HIV in your body so your immune system can work better. This lowers your chance of getting HIV complications (such as new infections, cancer) and improves your quality of life. Lamivudine belongs to a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors-NRTI.Lamivudine is not a cure for HIV infection. To decrease your risk of spreading HIV disease to others, do all of the following: (1) continue to take all HIV medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor, (2) always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity, and (3) do not share personal items (such as needles/syringes, toothbrushes, and razors) that may have contacted blood or other body fluids. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.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 in combination with other HIV medications to reduce the risk of getting HIV infection after contact with the virus. Consult your doctor for more details.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.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.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking lamivudine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: pancreatitis, kidney problems, liver problems (such as hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis), alcohol use.Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may increase your risk for liver problems and/or pancreatitis.This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the increased risk of pancreatitis.Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, caution is advised when using this drug in older adults because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug.During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. However, it is now normal to prescribe HIV medicines for pregnant women with HIV. This has been shown to decrease the risk of giving HIV to the baby. Lamivudine may be part of that treatment. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.Lamivudine passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.Some products that may interact with this drug include: interferon, zalcitabine.Emtricitabine is similar to lamivudine and should not be taken with this medication. Check the labels on all your HIV medicines because they may contain the same ingredients as found in this product. Taking too much of these drugs will not necessarily improve your condition, and may cause more side effects.This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
Latest MedicineNet News
Daily Health News
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney tests, liver tests, viral load, T-cell counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store the US product at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom.Store the Canadian product between 36-86 degrees F (2-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.Keep all medicines away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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.
Top lamivudine Related Articles
abacavir, ZiagenAbacavir (Ziagen) is a drug prescribed in combination with other anti-HIV drugs to treat HIV infection. Review side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking this medication.
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.
HIV/AIDS HistoryGet a historical overview of the HIV/AIDS pandemic from human contraction to the present through this slideshow of pictures.
didanosine (Videx, Videx EC)Didanosine (Videx, Videx EC) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in adults and children. Review side effects, dosage, drug interactions, pregnancy safety, and warnings and precautions information prior to taking this medication.
Drug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
efavirenz (Sustiva)Efavirenz (Sustiva) is a drug prescribed to treat infections associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Review side effects, dosage, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking this drug.
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.
Hepatitis B PictureInflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought to be passed only through blood products. See a picture of Hepatitis B and learn more about the health topic.
Hepatitis SlideshowHepatitis C, B, and A are viruses that cause liver inflammation. Hepatitis B vaccines and hepatitis A vaccines are available. Hepatitis symptoms may not appear for weeks to months after infection. Hepatitis A transmission occurs most often via contaminated food. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C transmission require contact with infected bodily fluids or blood.
What Is Viral Hepatitis? How You Catch Hepatitis A, B, and CHepatitis C virus and hepatitis B can make an infected person very sick and they are risk factors for liver cancer, liver disease, liver failure, and liver damage. Prior to 1992, blood transfusion was a risk for contracting hepatitis C infection. Hepatitis B and C are blood-borne infections, while hepatitis A is easier to catch, but less serious.
HIV/AIDS MythsWhat is HIV versus AIDS? What are the symptoms of HIV? Is there an HIV cure? Discover myths and facts about living with HIV/AIDS. Learn about HIV and AIDS treatment options, symptoms, and diagnosis.
HIV TestingHIV antibody tests detect antibodies the body produces to neutralize the virus. HIV RNA testing uses polymerase chain reaction to detect HIV RNA in a person's blood. It usually takes one to three days to get results.
HIV/AIDS QuizNow, more than ever, you should know about HIV/AIDS, especially its causes, symptoms treatments, and complications. Take the HIV/AIDS Quiz now!
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection left untreated causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Still incurable, AIDS describes immune system collapse that opens the way for opportunistic infections and cancers to kill the patient. Early symptoms and signs of HIV infection include flu-like symptoms and fungal infections, but some people may not show any symptoms for years. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for HIV infection. These combination drug regimens have made HIV much less deadly, but a cure or vaccine for the pandemic remains out of reach. HIV is usually transmitted through sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles, but can also infect someone through contact with infected blood. Sexual abstinence, safe sex practices, quitting IV drugs (or at least using clean needles), and proper safety equipment by clinicians and first responders can drastically reduce transmission rates for HIV/AIDS.
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.
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.
Liver Disease QuizWhat is liver disease? Take the Liver Disease Quiz and test your knowledge about this organ and its function.
What Are NRTIs in Antiretroviral Therapy For HIV Infection?Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. NRTIs were the first drugs developed to manage HIV and remain a mainstay of antiretroviral therapy (ART) combinations. HIV progressively weakens the immune system, leading to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), when the body is no longer able to fight infection effectively. HIV has no cure and can only be controlled by lifelong medication.
stavudine (Zerit)Stavudine (Zerit) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of HIV infection. Zerit is prescribed to be used in combination with other anti-HIV infection drugs. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
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.
Retrovir (zidovudine, ZDV, formerly called AZT)
Retrovir (zidovudine, ZDV, formerly called AZT) is a medication (oral and injectable) prescribed for the treatment of infections with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Side effects include insomnia, diarrhea, weight loss, confusion, dizziness, rash, chills, and severe headache. Drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information, and dosing should be reviewed before taking any medication.