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Lamivudine (generic name) [lami-V-ue-deen] Epivir and Epivir HBV
Forms of dosage: oral solution (10 mg/mL or 5 mg/mL), tablet oral (100mg, 150mg, 300mg)
Drug class: nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)

What is Lamivudine?

Lamivudine, an antiviral drug that is used to treat HIV or Hepatitis B in humans, prevents the virus from multiplying.Epivir treats HIV infection in children and adults over 3 months of age. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome and AIDS. Epivir does not cure HIV/AIDS.The treatment for hepatitis B is available to adults as well as children over 2 years of age. Epivir-HBV is not recommended for people with both HIV and hepatitis B.This medication guide does not list all possible uses of Lamivudine.

Side effects of Lamivudine

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergy reaction, seek immediate medical attention: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling in your lips, face, throat, or tongue.The mild symptoms of lactic acidosis can worsen with time. This condition is fatal. If you experience: unusual muscular pain; difficulty breathing; stomach pain; nausea or dizziness

Lamivudine can cause serious side effects. If you experience:

  • Pancreas issues: severe pain spreading from your stomach to your back; nausea, vomiting, rapid heart rate
  • Liver problems: swelling around the midsection of your body; upper right stomach pain; lack of appetite; dark-coloured urine; clay-coloured stool; jaundice.

Lamivudine can affect your immune system and cause side effects. These may occur weeks or even months after taking lamivudine. You should tell your doctor about:

  • Signs of an infection: fever, sweats at night, swelling glands, sores on the lips, coughing, wheezing, and diarrhoea;
  • If you have difficulty speaking, swallowing, or moving your eyes, or are weak or feeling prickly, then it could be because of:
  • Impotence, menstrual change

Lamivudine can cause the following side effects:

  • Nausea, diarrhoea;
  • Headache;
  • Fever, tiredness, or general ill feeling;
  • Ear infection: hearing problems, tearing from the ears, or fussiness.
  • Nose or throat infection: stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, and cough

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. Report side effects by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


If you are taking Emtricitabine or Epivir-HBV, then it is not recommended that you take Epivir-HBV for treating hepatitis B.Lamivudine may cause serious or even life-threatening side effects in your pancreas or liver. If you experience: severe stomach pain that spreads to the back; nausea or loss of appetite; dark urine or stools with clay colours; or jaundice, call your doctor immediately.You may need to have frequent liver function tests for several months if you have ever been infected with hepatitis B. For several months, you may require frequent liver function testing.While you take Epivir-HBV, hepatitis B may develop resistance to the treatment. Hepatitis resistance can cause liver diseases to become worse or even death. If you notice new symptoms of hepatitis, tell your doctor.

Before you take this drug

If you have an allergy to lamivudine, it is best not to take the drug.Epivir-HBV is not recommended for treating hepatitis B if you are also taking other medicines that contain lamivudine and emtricitabine. These include Atripla (for hepatitis B), Biktarvy (for atripla), Cimduo (for combivir), Complera (for descovy), Emtriva (for Emtriva), Epzicom (for Epzicom), and Genvoya Odefse.

If you've ever:

  • Liver disease, especially hepatitis B and C, or liver surgery;
  • Pancreatitis;
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes (liquid Lamivudine has 3–4 grammes of sugar per dose).

You can develop lactic acidosis. This is a buildup of dangerous lactic acids in your blood. It may be more common if there are other health conditions or you take HIV medications for long periods of time. Consult your doctor to determine your personal risk.Inform your doctor that you're pregnant and take your medication as prescribed to manage your condition. HIV may pass to the unborn child if it is not treated during pregnancy.While taking lamivudine for hepatitis B, you should avoid breastfeeding. HIV-positive women should avoid breastfeeding their babies. Your baby may still be infected with HIV if you breastfeed.

How to take Lamivudine?

Read all the instructions or guides that come with your medication and follow all the directions. Follow the instructions on your medicine. Epivir for HIV treatment should never be taken with Epivir-HBV.Take lamivudine either with food or without.Lamivudine dosages for children are determined by weight. If your child loses or gains weight, the dose may need to be adjusted. If possible, children who weigh over 30 pounds should take lamivudine in tablet form. Lamivudine fluid may be less effective.When giving HIV lamivudine, you may have to cut an Epivir tablet into two halves. If the child is having trouble swallowing, call your doctor.Measuring liquid medication is important. Dosing devices are available, but not spoons.The epivir contains more lamivudine compared to the epivir-HBV. Epivir treats HIV, while Epivir-HBV treats hepatitis B. Make sure that you are receiving the right brand of medication for your specific condition each time you refill this medicine.HIV tests will be required frequently. You may become HIV-positive while taking lamivudine for hepatitis B. If not treated immediately, HIV can become resistant to all antiviral drugs.While you take Epivir-HBV, hepatitis B can mutate and become resistant to your treatment. Hepatitis resistance can cause liver damage or even death. If you notice new or worsening symptoms of hepatitis, tell your doctor.Read all the instructions and medication guides that you are given. You should not alter your dosage or schedule of medication without consulting your doctor. Each person living with HIV must be under a doctor's care.Keep the bottle at room temperature, away from heat and moisture. When not in use, keep the bottle closed tightly.You may need to have frequent liver function tests while taking this medicine and for several months following your last dose. During treatment with this medication and even for several months afterwards, you may require frequent liver function testing.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you are almost due for the next dose, skip the missed one. Do not take more than one dose at the same time.Refill your prescription before it runs out.

What happens if I overdose?

Contact 1-800-222-1222 immediately in case of poisoning and seek emergency medical help immediately.

What should be avoided?

Other medications containing an ingredient known as sorbitol should be avoided. This is often added to liquid medicine for sweetening. If you're not sure whether a medication contains this ingredient, ask your pharmacist.Lamivudine does not stop the spread of your illness. Share razors and toothbrushes. Do not engage in unprotected sexual activity. Speak to your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission while having sex. Even healthy people should never share syringes for drugs or medicines.

Interaction with other drug

Lamivudine can be affected by other drugs, so it is important to avoid taking them together. Inform your doctor of all the medicines you are taking and those that you have stopped using. You should tell your doctor about all the medicines you are taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbs. This list does not include all interactions.




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