- This medicine may rarely cause swollen liver and an acid health problem in the blood. This may be deadly in some cases. The chance may be higher in women, in overweight people, and in people who have taken drugs like this one for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
- Hepatitis B has gotten worse when Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) was stopped in some people with hepatitis B. Close follow-up for a few months is needed when therapy is stopped in people who have hepatitis B. Do not stop taking Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) without calling your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
- There is more than 1 brand of Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets). One brand cannot safely be used for the other. The doctor will tell you about any needed change.
- Do not take this brand of Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) if you have HIV infection. The dose of this brand is not enough and HIV may be harder to treat after taking it. HIV testing needs to be done before taking this brand. Talk with your doctor.
Uses of Epivir-HBV:
- It is used to treat hepatitis B infection.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Epivir-HBV?
- If you have an allergy to lamivudine or any other part of Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you are taking another drug that has the same drug in it.
- If you are taking emtricitabine.
- If you are taking a drug that has sorbitol in it.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Epivir-HBV?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you have never had hepatitis care before.
- This medicine is not a cure for hepatitis infection. Stay under the care of your doctor.
- If giving to your child, the dose of Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) may need to be changed as your child's weight changes. Have your child's weight checked often. Talk with the doctor before changing your child's dose.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Epivir-HBV) best taken?
Use Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Keep taking Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- It is important that you do not miss or skip a dose of Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) during treatment.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
- If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of too much lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) like fast breathing, fast heartbeat, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, feeling very sleepy, shortness of breath, feeling very tired or weak, very bad dizziness, feeling cold, or muscle pain or cramps.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- A burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Mood changes.
- Change in body fat.
What are some other side effects of Epivir-HBV?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Runny nose.
- Stuffy nose.
- Nose and throat irritation.
- Ear irritation.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Epivir-HBV?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets) or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets). It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets). This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Epivir-HBV (lamivudine tablets).
Review Date: March 7, 2018
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- Drug class: nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)