"AIDS is caused by HIV, a retrovirus that attacks the immune system. The virus destroys CD4+ T cells, a type of white blood cell that's vital to fighting off infection. The number of these cells, known as a CD4+ count, is a key measure of immune s"...
Epivir Patient Information Including Side Effects
Brand Names: Epivir, Epivir HBV
Generic Name: lamivudine (Pronunciation: la MIV yoo deen)
- What is lamivudine (Epivir)?
- What are the possible side effects of lamivudine (Epivir)?
- What is the most important information I should know about lamivudine (Epivir)?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lamivudine (Epivir)?
- How should I take lamivudine (Epivir)?
- What happens if I miss a dose (Epivir)?
- What happens if I overdose (Epivir)?
- What should I avoid while taking lamivudine (Epivir)?
- What other drugs will affect lamivudine (Epivir)?
- Where can I get more information?
What is lamivudine (Epivir)?
Lamivudine is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus cells from multiplying in your body.
Epivir is for treating HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Epivir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.
Epivir-HBV is for treating hepatitis B. Epivir-HBV should not be used in people who are infected with both hepatitis B and HIV.
Lamivudine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Epivir 150 mg
elliptical, white, imprinted with GX CJ7, 150
Epivir 300 mg
diamond, gray, imprinted with GX EJ7
Epivir-HBV 100 mg
oval, yellow, imprinted with GX CG5
Lamivudine 150 mg-APO
diamond, white, imprinted with APO, LMV 150
Lamivudine 300 mg-APO
diamond, white, imprinted with APO, LMV 300
What are the possible side effects of lamivudine (Epivir)?
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.
This medication may cause lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and get worse over time. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, 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.
Stop using lamivudine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- signs of a new infection such as fever, chills, sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or unusual bleeding, loss of appetite, mouth sores;
- severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- increased sweating, tremors in your hands, anxiety, feeling irritable, sleep problems (insomnia);
- diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex;
- swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid);
- problems with walking, breathing, speech, swallowing, or eye movement; or
- severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control.
Less serious side effects may include:
- mild tired feeling;
- runny or stuffy nose;
- mild diarrhea; or
- changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).
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.
Read the Epivir (lamivudine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
What is the most important information I should know about lamivudine (Epivir)?
You should not take lamivudine if you are allergic to it.
The Epivir brand of lamivudine (for treating HIV) should not be taken together with any HIV combination medicine that contains lamivudine or emtricitabine. This includes Atripla, Combivir, Complera, Emtriva, Epzicom, Trizivir, and Truvada.
The Epivir-HBV brand of lamivudine (for treating hepatitis B) should not be taken together with any other medication that contains lamivudine, which includes Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, and Trizivir.
Before taking lamivudine, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, a history of pancreatitis, or if you have used a medicine similar to lamivudine in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), emtricitabine (Atripla, Complera, Emtriva, Truvada), stavudine (Zerit), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), or zidovudine (Retrovir).
Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking lamivudine. Early symptoms may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. 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.
If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using lamivudine. Visit your doctor regularly.
Lamivudine can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver or pancreas. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms while taking lamivudine: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Epivir tablets and liquid contain a higher dose of lamivudine than Epivir-HBV. Each time you get a refill of this medication, be sure you have received the correct brand to treat your condition.
Additional Epivir Information
- Epivir Drug Interactions Center: lamivudine oral
- Epivir Side Effects Center
- Epivir Overview including Precautions
- Epivir FDA Approved Prescribing Information including Dosage
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get breaking medical news.