Generic Name: lamivudine (Oral route)
Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues alone or in combination, including lamivudine and other antiretrovirals . Suspend treatment if clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity occur .
Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported. Severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B have been reported in patients who have hepatitis B infection or are co-infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV-1 and have discontinued lamivudine; monitor hepatic function upon discontinuation of therapy. EPIVIR(R) tablets and oral solution (used to treat HIV-1 infection) contain a higher dose of the active ingredient (lamivudine) than EPIVIR-HBV(R) tablets and oral solution (used to treat chronic hepatitis B). Patients with HIV infection should receive only dosage forms appropriate for treatment of HIV-1. EPIVIR-HBV(R) tablets and oral solution contain a lower dose of the same active ingredient (lamivudine) as EPIVIR(R) tablets and oral solution used to treat HIV infection. If treatment with EPIVIR-HBV(R) is prescribed for chronic hepatitis B for a patient with unrecognized or untreated HIV infection, rapid emergence of HIV resistance is likely because of subtherapeutic dose and inappropriate monotherapy .
Commonly used brand name(s):
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Antiretroviral Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor
Lamivudine is used in the treatment of the infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus. HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Lamivudine is taken together with zidovudine (AZT) or other medications used to treat HIV.
Lamivudine will not cure or prevent HIV infection or AIDS; however, it helps keep HIV from reproducing and appears to slow down the destruction of the immune system. This may help delay the development of problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease. Lamivudine will not keep you from spreading HIV to other people. People who receive this medicine may continue to have other problems usually related to AIDS or HIV disease. Lamivudine is not a cure for the hepatitis B virus; the long-term effects of the drug on the infection and the liver are unknown at this time.
Lamivudine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, lamivudine is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Lamivudine can cause serious side effects. In one study, children with advanced AIDS were more likely than children who were less ill to develop pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and peripheral neuropathy (a problem involving the nerves). Therefore, it is especially important that you discuss with your child's doctor the good that this medicine may do as well as the risks of using it. Your child must be seen frequently and your child's progress carefully followed by the doctor while the child is taking lamivudine.
Lamivudine has not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it is not known whether it causes different side effects or problems in the elderly than it does in younger adults. Talk to your doctor first if you have liver, kidney, heart problems or other diseases. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose.
|All Trimesters||C||Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
This section provides information on the proper use of a number of products that contain lamivudine. It may not be specific to Heptovir. Please read with care.
Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Also, do not stop taking lamivudine or zidovudine without checking with your doctor first.
Keep taking lamivudine for the full time of treatment , even if you begin to feel better.
This medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses . If you need help in planning the best times to take your medicine, check with your health care professional.
If you are using lamivudine oral suspension, use a specially marked measuring spoon or other device to measure each dose accurately. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid. The lamivudine oral suspension contains sucrose. Tell your doctor if you are diabetic before you start taking this medicine.
Only take medicine that your doctor has prescribed specifically for you. Do not share your medicine with others.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
Note: Patients that require treatment for both hepatitis B and either AIDS or HIV should follow the dosing schedule for HIV or AIDS
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits.
Do not take any other medicines without checking with your doctor first. To do so may increase the chance of side effects from lamivudine.
If you have both HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections, deterioration of liver disease has occurred when lamivudine treatment is stopped. Discuss any changes in your treatment and medicines with your doctor.
HIV may be acquired from or spread to other people through infected body fluids, including blood, vaginal fluid, or semen. If you are infected, it is best to avoid any sexual activity involving an exchange of body fluids with other people. If you do have sex, always wear (or have your partner wear) a condom (“rubber”). Only use condoms made of latex, and use them every time you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex. The use of a spermicide (such as nonoxynol-9) may also help prevent transmission of HIV if it is not irritating to the vagina, rectum, or mouth. Spermicides have been shown to kill HIV in lab tests. Do not use oil-based jelly, cold cream, baby oil, or shortening as a lubricant—these products can cause the condom to break. Lubricants without oil, such as K-Y Jelly, are recommended. Women may wish to carry their own condoms. Birth control pills and diaphragms will help protect against pregnancy, but they will not prevent someone from giving or getting the AIDS virus. If you inject drugs, get help to stop. Do not share needles or equipment with anyone. In some cities, more than half of the drug users are infected, and sharing even 1 needle or syringe can spread the virus. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:More common—especially in children
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:More common
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.Incidence not determined
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