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Viral Hepatitis and Lamivudine

Written by ColleenO, FoundHealth.

Lamivudine, also known as Epivir-HBV, is given orally to treat hepatitis B. It is usually taken daily for about one year, and sometimes longer.

Effect of Lamivudine on Viral Hepatitis

As an antiretroviral agent, Lamivudine works to injure the virus and fight the infection.

Read more details about Lamivudine.

How to Use Lamivudine

• To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.

• Use prescription as directed, even if feeling better.

• In HIV treatment, this medicine is usually taken with two other medicines.

• Take this medicine with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.

• A liquid (solution) is available if you cannot swallow pills.

• Those who have feeding tubes can also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after medicine is given.

What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

All forms:

• Do not run out of this medicine.

• If you have kidney disease, talk with healthcare provider.

• If you are being treated for both hepatitis B and AIDS, talk with healthcare provider.

• Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.

HIV infection:

• If medicine changes for HIV infection, make sure to ask healthcare provider about hepatitis B treatment.

• To protect against sexually-transmitted diseases, use a latex condom.

• Use birth control that you can trust to prevent pregnancy in HIV disease.

• Breast-feeding is not recommended in HIV disease in the U.S.

Hepatitis B infection:

• To protect against sexually-transmitted diseases, use a latex condom.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

What are some possible side effects of this medicine?

• Headache.

• Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

• Diarrhea.

• Irritated pancreas can rarely occur.

Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

• If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency department immediately.

• Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

• Severe belly pain.

• Severe nausea or vomiting.

• Severe diarrhea.

• Any rash.

• No improvement in condition or feeling worse.

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