Some patients have developed severe and sometimes fatal worsening of hepatitis after they stop taking Hepsera . If you stop taking Hepsera , your doctor will need to perform liver function tests and check you closely for signs of worsening liver problems for at least several months. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Hepsera may cause serious kidney problems, especially if you already have or are at risk for kidney problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney problems. They may need to perform kidney function tests or adjust your dose of Hepsera . Contact your doctor right away if you develop a change in the amount of urine that you produce.
Use of Hepsera for hepatitis B infection in patients with untreated or unknown HIV infection may result in strains of the HIV virus that are resistent to treatment. Tell your doctor if you have HIV infection or may be at risk for HIV infection.
High levels of lactic acid in the blood and severe liver problems have infrequently been reported with the use of Hepsera either alone or with other medicines. These effects have been fatal in some cases. The risk of developing these problems may be greater if you are very overweight or have been using a nucleoside analog (eg, didanosine, lamivudine) for a long time. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop unusual weakness or fatigue, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, abdominal or stomach pain with or without nausea or vomiting, drowsiness, muscle aches or weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, coldness (especially in the arms or legs), trouble breathing, or fast or irregular heartbeat.
Treating chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
Hepsera is a nucleotide analog. It works by slowing the growth of the virus. It is not a cure for hepatitis B.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Some medical conditions may interact with Hepsera . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Hepsera . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Hepsera may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Use Hepsera as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Hepsera .
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Diarrhea; fever; gas; headache; increased cough; indigestion; nausea; sore throat; upset stomach; vomiting.Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); change in the amount of urine you produce; cold arms and legs; dark urine; dizziness; fast or irregular heartbeat; light-colored bowel movements; loss of appetite; muscle pain; severe or persistent stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting; unusual drowsiness; unusual weakness or fatigue; or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of Hepsera :
Store Hepsera at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) in the original container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not use if the seal over the bottle opening is broken or missing. Do not store in the bathroom. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Keep Hepsera out of the reach of children and away from pets.
This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Hepsera . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.