May 1, 2016




Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Severe Acute Exacerbations Of Hepatitis B

Severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B have been reported in patients who have discontinued anti-hepatitis B therapy, including entecavir [see ADVERSE REACTIONS]. Hepatic function should be monitored closely with both clinical and laboratory follow-up for at least several months in patients who discontinue anti-hepatitis B therapy. If appropriate, initiation of anti-hepatitis B therapy may be warranted.

Patients Co-infected With HIV And HBV

BARACLUDE has not been evaluated in HIV/HBV co-infected patients who were not simultaneously receiving effective HIV treatment. Limited clinical experience suggests there is a potential for the development of resistance to HIV nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors if BARACLUDE is used to treat chronic hepatitis B virus infection in patients with HIV infection that is not being treated [see Microbiology]. Therefore, therapy with BARACLUDE is not recommended for HIV/HBV co-infected patients who are not also receiving HAART. Before initiating BARACLUDE therapy, HIV antibody testing should be offered to all patients. BARACLUDE has not been studied as a treatment for HIV infection and is not recommended for this use.

Lactic Acidosis And Severe Hepatomegaly With Steatosis

Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogue inhibitors, including BARACLUDE, alone or in combination with antiretrovirals. A majority of these cases have been in women. Obesity and prolonged nucleoside inhibitor exposure may be risk factors. Particular caution should be exercised when administering nucleoside analogue inhibitors to any patient with known risk factors for liver disease; however, cases have also been reported in patients with no known risk factors.

Lactic acidosis with BARACLUDE use has been reported, often in association with hepatic decompensation, other serious medical conditions, or drug exposures. Patients with decompensated liver disease may be at higher risk for lactic acidosis. Treatment with BARACLUDE should be suspended in any patient who develops clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity (which may include hepatomegaly and steatosis even in the absence of marked transaminase elevations).

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).

Information About Treatment
  • Physicians should inform their patients of the following important points when initiating BARACLUDE treatment:
  • Patients should remain under the care of a physician while taking BARACLUDE. They should discuss any new symptoms or concurrent medications with their physician.
  • Patients should be advised that treatment with BARACLUDE has not been shown to reduce the risk of transmission of HBV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination.
  • Patients should be advised to take BARACLUDE on an empty stomach (at least 2 hours after a meal and 2 hours before the next meal).
  • Patients using the oral solution should be instructed to hold the dosing spoon in a vertical position and fill it gradually to the mark corresponding to the prescribed dose. Rinsing of the dosing spoon with water is recommended after each daily dose. Some patients may find it difficult to accurately measure the prescribed dose using the provided dosing spoon; therefore, patients/caregivers should refer to the steps in the Patient Information section that demonstrate the correct technique of using the provided dosing spoon to measure the prescribed BARACLUDE dose.
  • Patients should be advised to take a missed dose as soon as remembered unless it is almost time for the next dose. Patients should not take two doses at the same time.
  • Patients should be advised that treatment with BARACLUDE will not cure HBV.
  • Patients should be informed that BARACLUDE may lower the amount of HBV in the body, may lower the ability of HBV to multiply and infect new liver cells, and may improve the condition of the liver.
  • Patients should be informed that it is not known whether BARACLUDE will reduce their chances of getting liver cancer or cirrhosis.
Post-treatment Exacerbation of Hepatitis

Patients should be informed that deterioration of liver disease may occur in some cases if treatment is discontinued, and that they should discuss any change in regimen with their physician.

HIV/HBV Co-infection

Patients should be offered HIV antibody testing before starting BARACLUDE therapy. They should be informed that if they have HIV infection and are not receiving effective HIV treatment, BARACLUDE may increase the chance of HIV resistance to HIV medication.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility


Long-term oral carcinogenicity studies of entecavir in mice and rats were carried out at exposures up to approximately 42 times (mice) and 35 times (rats) those observed in humans at the highest recommended dose of 1 mg/day. In mouse and rat studies, entecavir was positive for carcinogenic findings.

In mice, lung adenomas were increased in males and females at exposures 3 and 40 times those in humans. Lung carcinomas in both male and female mice were increased at exposures 40 times those in humans. Combined lung adenomas and carcinomas were increased in male mice at exposures 3 times and in female mice at exposures 40 times those in humans. Tumor development was preceded by pneumocyte proliferation in the lung, which was not observed in rats, dogs, or monkeys administered entecavir, supporting the conclusion that lung tumors in mice may be a species-specific event. Hepatocellular carcinomas were increased in males and combined liver adenomas and carcinomas were also increased at exposures 42 times those in humans. Vascular tumors in female mice (hemangiomas of ovaries and uterus and hemangiosarcomas of spleen) were increased at exposures 40 times those in humans. In rats, hepatocellular adenomas were increased in females at exposures 24 times those in humans; combined adenomas and carcinomas were also increased in females at exposures 24 times those in humans. Brain gliomas were induced in both males and females at exposures 35 and 24 times those in humans. Skin fibromas were induced in females at exposures 4 times those in humans.

It is not known how predictive the results of rodent carcinogenicity studies may be for humans.


Entecavir was clastogenic to human lymphocyte cultures. Entecavir was not mutagenic in the Ames bacterial reverse mutation assay using S. typhimurium and E. coli strains in the presence or absence of metabolic activation, a mammalian-cell gene mutation assay, and a transformation assay with Syrian hamster embryo cells. Entecavir was also negative in an oral micronucleus study and an oral DNA repair study in rats.

Impairment of Fertility

In reproductive toxicology studies, in which animals were administered entecavir at up to 30 mg/kg for up to 4 weeks, no evidence of impaired fertility was seen in male or female rats at systemic exposures greater than 90 times those achieved in humans at the highest recommended dose of 1 mg/day. In rodent and dog toxicology studies, seminiferous tubular degeneration was observed at exposures 35 times or greater than those achieved in humans. No testicular changes were evident in monkeys.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C

There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of BARACLUDE in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, BARACLUDE should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry: To monitor fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to BARACLUDE, an Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry has been established. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling 1-800-258-4263.

Animal Data

Animal reproduction studies with entecavir in rats and rabbits revealed no evidence of teratogenicity. Developmental toxicity studies were performed in rats and rabbits. There were no signs of embryofetal or maternal toxicity when pregnant animals received oral entecavir at approximately 28 (rat) and 212 (rabbit) times the human exposure achieved at the highest recommended human dose of 1 mg/day. In rats, maternal toxicity, embryofetal toxicity (resorptions), lower fetal body weights, tail and vertebral malformations, reduced ossification (vertebrae, sternebrae, and phalanges), and extra lumbar vertebrae and ribs were observed at exposures 3100 times those in humans. In rabbits, embryofetal toxicity (resorptions), reduced ossification (hyoid), and an increased incidence of 13th rib were observed at exposures 883 times those in humans. In a peri-postnatal study, no adverse effects on offspring occurred when rats received oral entecavir at exposures greater than 94 times those in humans.

Labor And Delivery

There are no studies in pregnant women and no data on the effect of BARACLUDE on transmission of HBV from mother to infant. Therefore, appropriate interventions should be used to prevent neonatal acquisition of HBV.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether BARACLUDE is excreted into human milk; however, entecavir is excreted into the milk of rats. Because many drugs are excreted into human milk and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from BARACLUDE, a decision should be made to discontinue nursing or to discontinue BARACLUDE taking into consideration the importance of continued hepatitis B therapy to the mother and the known benefits of breastfeeding.

Pediatric Use

BARACLUDE was evaluated in two clinical trials of pediatric subjects 2 years of age and older with HBeAg-positive chronic HBV infection and compensated liver disease. The exposure of BARACLUDE in nucleoside-inhibitor-treatment-nave and lamivudine-experienced pediatric subjects 2 years of age and older with HBeAg-positive chronic HBV infection and compensated liver disease receiving 0.015 mg/kg (up to 0.5 mg once daily) or 0.03 mg/kg (up to 1 mg once daily), respectively, was evaluated in Study AI463028. Safety and efficacy of the selected dose in treatment-nave pediatric subjects were confirmed in Study AI463189, a randomized, placebo-controlled treatment trial [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE, DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, ADVERSE REACTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, and Clinical Studies].

There are limited data available on the use of BARACLUDE in lamivudine-experienced pediatric patients; BARACLUDE should be used in these patients only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the child. Since some pediatric patients may require long-term or even lifetime management of chronic active hepatitis B, consideration should be given to the impact of BARACLUDE on future treatment options [see Microbiology].

The efficacy and safety of BARACLUDE have not been established in patients less than 2 years of age. Use of BARACLUDE in this age group has not been evaluated because treatment of HBV in this age group is rarely required.

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of BARACLUDE did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 years and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. Entecavir is substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Racial/Ethnic Groups

There are no significant racial differences in entecavir pharmacokinetics. The safety and efficacy of BARACLUDE 0.5 mg once daily were assessed in a single-arm, open-label trial of HBeAg- positive or -negative, nucleoside-inhibitor-nave, Black/African American (n=40) and Hispanic (n=6) subjects with chronic HBV infection. In this trial, 76% of subjects were male, the mean age was 42 years, 57% were HBeAg-positive, the mean baseline HBV DNA was 7.0 log10 IU/mL, and the mean baseline ALT was 162 U/L. At Week 48 of treatment, 32 of 46 (70%) subjects had HBV DNA < 50 IU/mL (approximately 300 copies/mL), 31 of 46 (67%) subjects had ALT normalization ( ≤ 1 ULN), and 12 of 26 (46%) HBeAg-positive subjects had HBe seroconversion. Safety data were similar to those observed in the larger controlled clinical trials.

Because of low enrollment, safety and efficacy have not been established in the US Hispanic population.

Renal Impairment

Dosage adjustment of BARACLUDE is recommended for patients with creatinine clearance less than 50 mL/min, including patients on hemodialysis or CAPD [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Liver Transplant Recipients

The safety and efficacy of BARACLUDE were assessed in a single-arm, open-label trial in 65 subjects who received a liver transplant for complications of chronic HBV infection. Eligible subjects who had HBV DNA less than 172 IU/mL (approximately 1000 copies/mL) at the time of transplant were treated with BARACLUDE 1 mg once daily in addition to usual post-transplantation management, including hepatitis B immune globulin. The trial population was 82% male, 39% Caucasian, and 37% Asian, with a mean age of 49 years; 89% of subjects had HBeAg-negative disease at the time of transplant.

Four of the 65 subjects received 4 weeks or less of BARACLUDE (2 deaths, 1 retransplantation, and 1 protocol violation) and were not considered evaluable. Of the 61 subjects who received more than 4 weeks of BARACLUDE, 60 received hepatitis B immune globulin post-transplant.

Fifty-three subjects (82% of all 65 subjects treated) completed the trial and had HBV DNA measurements at or after 72 weeks treatment post-transplant. All 53 subjects had HBV DNA < 50 IU/mL (approximately 300 copies/mL). Eight evaluable subjects did not have HBV DNA data available at 72 weeks, including 3 subjects who died prior to study completion. No subjects had HBV DNA values ≥ 50 IU/mL while receiving BARACLUDE (plus hepatitis B immune globulin). All 61 evaluable subjects lost HBsAg post-transplant; 2 of these subjects experienced recurrence of measurable HBsAg without recurrence of HBV viremia. This trial was not designed to determine whether addition of BARACLUDE to hepatitis B immune globulin decreased the proportion of subjects with measurable HBV DNA post-transplant compared to hepatitis B immune globulin alone.

If BARACLUDE treatment is determined to be necessary for a liver transplant recipient who has received or is receiving an immunosuppressant that may affect renal function, such as cyclosporine or tacrolimus, renal function must be carefully monitored both before and during treatment with BARACLUDE [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/1/2016


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