Medication Guide App

Hepsera

Generic Name: adefovir (a DEF o veer)
Brand Name: Hepsera

What is Hepsera (adefovir)?

Adefovir is an antiviral medication. Adefovir prevents viral cells from multiplying in the body and infecting new liver cells.

Adefovir is used to treat chronic hepatitis B in people who are 12 years of age or older. Adefovir is not a cure for chronic hepatitis B.

Adefovir may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Hepsera (adefovir)?

This medicine may cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

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Adefovir can also cause serious kidney problems, especially if you have kidney disease or take certain medications.

Tell your doctor if you have been exposed to HIV, or if you have untreated HIV or AIDS. Taking medicines to treat chronic hepatitis B can cause HIV infection to become resistant to the standard HIV and AIDS medications. You may need to be tested for HIV before you start taking adefovir.

You may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using adefovir.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Hepsera (adefovir)?

You should not take adefovir if you are allergic to it.

Do not take adefovir if you also take Atripla, Complera, Stribild, Truvada, or Viread.

Some people taking adefovir develop a serious condition called lactic acidosis. This may be more likely in women, in people who are overweight or have liver disease, and in people who have taken HIV/AIDS medication for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your risk.

Tell your doctor if you have been exposed to HIV, or if you have untreated HIV or AIDS. Taking medicines to treat chronic hepatitis B can cause HIV infection to become resistant to the standard HIV and AIDS medications. You may need to be tested for HIV before you start taking adefovir.

To make sure adefovir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease; or

  • liver disease.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether adefovir will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry when you start using this medication.

It is not known whether adefovir passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take Hepsera (adefovir)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Take adefovir with a full glass of water. Adefovir may be taken with or without food.

Use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. You should not stop using adefovir without your doctor's advice.

While using adefovir, you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be checked. You must remain under the care of a doctor while you are using adefovir. Visit your doctor regularly.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

You may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using adefovir.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking Hepsera (adefovir)?

Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing hepatitis B to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Hepsera (adefovir) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Early symptoms of lactic acidosis may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • little or no urinating;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain;

  • confusion, loss of appetite, vomiting, pain in your side or lower back; or

  • severe stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, indigestion;

  • weakness; or

  • headache.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Hepsera (adefovir)?

Adefovir can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including: antivirals, chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

Other drugs may interact with adefovir, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about adefovir.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.02. Revision Date: 2014-10-07, 8:26:14 AM.

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