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Lamivudine Oral solution [Hepatitis B]

It is used to treat hepatitis B

Generic Name: lamivudine

Brand Names: Epivir, Epivir HBV

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 03/01/2011] ISSUE: FDA updated the public about an ongoing safety review of abacavir and a possible increased risk of heart attack. There has been conflicting information on the potential increased risk of heart attack with abacavir (Ziagen) treatment. An increased risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) has been seen in several observational studies and one randomized controlled trial (RCT) with abacavir. However, an increased risk of heart attack has not been seen in other RCTs and the safety database maintained by the drug manufacturer.

FDA conducted a meta-analysis of 26 randomized clinical trials that evaluated abacavir. This meta-analysis did not show an increased risk of MI associated with the use of abacavir. FDA will continue to communicate any new safety information to the public as it becomes available.

BACKGROUND: Abacavir is an antiviral medication used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs [abacavir and lamivudine (Epzicom); abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine (Trizivir)] for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

RECOMMENDATION: Healthcare professionals should continue to prescribe abacavir according to the professional label. Patients should not stop taking their abacavir without first talking to their healthcare professional. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

What is this medicine?

LAMIVUDINE, 3TC (la ME vyoo deen, 3TC) is an antiviral medicine. It is used to treat hepatitis B. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • diabetes
  • drink alcohol daily
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • organ transplant
  • pancreatitis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lamivudine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Use a specially marked spoon or container to measure each dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. You may take this medicine with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the hepatitis B virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you've taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

  • other lamivudine medicines
  • sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim, SMX-TMP
  • trimethoprim
  • zalcitabine, ddC

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine.

Hepatitis B is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of hepatitis B.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • breathing difficulties
  • depression
  • muscle aches, pains, weakness
  • pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
  • unusually weak or tired
  • weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (Report these to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome.):

  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • runny, stuffy nose
  • stomach pain, upset

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at a room temperature of 20 to 25 degrees C (68 to 77 degrees F). Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

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.


Last Updated: October 13, 2011
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