Recommended Topic Related To:


"Nov. 29, 2012 -- It's possible to end the worldwide AIDS epidemic, and a new U.S. plan could make this possibility a reality.

The plan, announced in a formal presentation today by outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, takes adv"...




Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Lactic Acidosis/Severe Hepatomegaly With Steatosis

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

Patients With HIV-1 and Hepatitis B Virus Co-infection

Posttreatment Exacerbations of Hepatitis: In clinical trials in non-HIV-1-infected patients treated with lamivudine for chronic hepatitis B, clinical and laboratory evidence of exacerbations of hepatitis have occurred after discontinuation of lamivudine. These exacerbations have been detected primarily by serum ALT elevations in addition to re-emergence of HBV DNA. Although most events appear to have been self-limited, fatalities have been reported in some cases. Similar events have been reported from postmarketing experience after changes from lamivudine-containing HIV-1 treatment regimens to non-lamivudine-containing regimens in patients infected with both HIV-1 and HBV. The causal relationship to discontinuation of lamivudine treatment is unknown. Patients should be closely monitored with both clinical and laboratory followup for at least several months after stopping treatment. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether re-initiation of lamivudine alters the course of posttreatment exacerbations of hepatitis.

Important Differences Among Lamivudine-Containinq Products: EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution contain a higher dose of the same active ingredient (lamivudine) than EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV Tablets and EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV Oral Solution. EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV was developed for patients with chronic hepatitis B. The formulation and dosage of lamivudine in EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV are not appropriate for patients co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV. Safety and efficacy of lamivudine have not been established for treatment of chronic hepatitis B in patients co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV. If treatment with EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV is prescribed for chronic hepatitis B for a patient with unrecognized or untreated HIV-1 infection, rapid emergence of HIV-1 resistance is likely to result because of the subtherapeutic dose and the inappropriateness of monotherapy HIV-1 treatment. If a decision is made to administer lamivudine to patients co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV, EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets, EPIVIR Oral Solution, COMBIVIR® (lamivudine/zidovudine) Tablets, EPZICOM® (abacavir sulfate and lamivudine) Tablets, or TRIZIVIR® (abacavir sulfate, lamivudine, and zidovudine) Tablets should be used as part of an appropriate combination regimen.

Emergence of Lamivudine-Resistant HBV: In non-HIV-1-infected patients treated with lamivudine for chronic hepatitis B, emergence of lamivudine-resistant HBV has been detected and has been associated with diminished treatment response (see full prescribing information for EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV for additional information). Emergence of hepatitis B virus variants associated with resistance to lamivudine has also been reported in HIV-1-infected patients who have received ramivudihe-coS concurrent infection with hepatitis B virus.

Use With Other Lamivudine- and Emtricitabine-Containing Products

EPIVIR (lamivudine) should not be administered concomitantly with other lamivudine-containing products including EPIVIR-HBV Tablets, EPIVIR Oral Solution COMBIVIR (lamivudine/zidovudine) Tablets, EPZICOM (abacavir sulfate and lamivudine) Tablets, or TRIZIVIR (abacavir sulfate, lamivudine, and zidovudine) or emtricitabine-containing products, including ATRIPLA™ (efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir), EMTRIVA® (emtricitabine), or TRUVADA® (emtricitabine and tenofovir).

Use With Interferon- and Ribavirin-Based Regimens

In vitro studies have shown ribavirin can reduce the phosphorylation of pyrimidine nucleoside analogues such as lamivudine. Although no evidence'of a pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction (e.g., loss of HIV-1/HCV virologic suppression) was seen when ribavirin was coadministered with lamivudine in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], hepatic decompensation (some fatal) has occurred in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy for HIV-1 and interferon alfa with or without ribavirin. Patients receiving interferon alfa with or without ribavirin and EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be closely monitored for treatment-associated toxicities, especially hepatic decompensation. Discontinuation of EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be considered as medically appropriate. Dose reduction or discontinuation of interferon alfa, ribavirin, or both should also be considered if worsening clinical toxicities are observed, including hepatic decompensation (e.g., Childs Pugh > 6). See the complete prescribing information for interferon and ribavirin.


In pediatric patients with a history of prior antiretroviral nucleoside exposure, a history of pancreatitis, or other significant risk factors for the development of pancreatitis, EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be used with caution. Treatment with EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be stopped immediately if clinical signs, symptoms, or laboratory abnormalities suggestive of pancreatitis occur [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Immune Reconstitution Syndrome

Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including EPIVIR (lamivudine) . During the initial phase of combination antiretroviral treatment, patients whose immune system responds may develop an inflammatory response to indolent or residual opportunistic infections (such as Mycobacterium avium infection, cytomegalovirus, Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia [PCP], or tuberculosis), which may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.

Fat Redistribution

Redistribution/accumulation of body fat including central obesity, dorsocervical fat enlargement (buffalo hump), peripheral wasting, facial wasting, breast enlargement, and "cushingoid appearance" have been observed in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. The mechanism and long-term consequences of these events are currently unknown. A causal relationship has not been established .

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term carcinogenicity studies with lamivudine in mice and rats showed no evidence of carcinogenic potential at exposures up to 10 times (mice) and 58 times (rats) those observed in humans at the recommended therapeutic dose for HIV-1 infection. Lamivudine was not active in a microbial mutagenicity screen or an in vitrocell transformation assay, but showed weak in vitro mutagenic activity in a cytogenetic assay using cultured human lymphocytes and in the mouse lymphoma assay. However, lamivudine showed no evidence of in vivo genotoxic activity in the rat at oral doses of up to 2,000 mg/kg, producing plasma levels of 35 to 45 times those in humans at the recommended dose for HIV-1 infection. In a study of reproductive performance, lamivudine administered to rats at doses up to 4,000 mg/kg/day, producing plasma levels 47 to 70 times those in humans, revealed no evidence of impaired fertility and no effect on the survival, growth, and development to weaning of the offspring.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of EPIVIR (lamivudine) in pregnant women. Animal reproduction studies in rats and rabbits revealed no evidence of teratogenicity. Increased early embryolethality occurred in rabbits at exposure levels similar to those in humans. EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Lamivudine pharmacokinetics were studied in pregnant women during 2 clinical studies conducted in South Africa. The study assessed pharmacokinetics in: 16 women at 36 weeks gestation using 150 mg lamivudine twice daily with zidovudine, 10 women at 38 weeks gestation using 150 mg lamivudine twice daily with zidovudine, and 10 women at 38 weeks gestation using lamivudine 300 mg twice daily without other antiretrovirals. These studies were not designed or powered to provide efficacy information. Lamivudine pharmacokinetics in the pregnant women were similar to those seen in non-pregnant adults and in postpartum women. Lamivudine concentrations were generally similar in maternal, neonatal, and umbilical cord serum samples. In a subset of subjects, lamivudine amniotic fluid specimens were collected following natural rupture of membranes. Amniotic fluid concentrations of lamivudine were typically 2 times greater than maternal serum levels and ranged from 1.2 to 2.5 mcg/mL (150 mg twice daily) and 2.1 to 5.2 mcg/mL (300 mg twice daily). It is not known whether risks of adverse events associated with lamivudine are altered in pregnant women compared with other HIV-1-infected patients.

Animal reproduction studies performed at oral doses up to 130 and 60 times the adult dose in ratsand rabbits, respectively, revealed no evidence of teratogenicity due to lamivudine. Increased early embryolethality occurred in rabbits at exposure levels similar to those in humans. However, there was no indication of this effect in rats at exposure levels up to 35 times those in humans. Based on animal studies, lamivudine crosses the placenta and is transferred to the fetus. [see Nonclinical Toxicology].

Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry: To monitor maternal-fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to lamivudine, a Pregnancy Registry has been established. Physicians are encouraged to register patients by calling 1-800-258-4263.

Nursing Mothers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that HIV-1-infected mothers in the United States not breastfeed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV-1 infection. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants and HIV-1 transmission, mothers should be instructed not to breastfeed if they are receiving lamivudine.

Lamivudine is excreted into human milk. Samples of breast milk obtained from 20 mothers receiving lamivudine monotherapy (300 mg twice daily) or combination therapy (150 mg lamivudine twice daily and 300 mg zidovudine twice daily) had measurable concentrations of lamivudine.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of twice-daily EPIVIR (lamivudine) in combination with other antiretroviral agents have been established in pediatric patients 3 months of age and older [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies].

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of EPIVIR (lamivudine) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. In particular, because lamivudine is substantially excreted by the kidney and elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, renal function should be monitored and dosage adjustments should be made accordingly [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Patients With Impaired Renal Function

Reduction of the dosage of EPIVIR (lamivudine) is recommended for; patients with impaired renal function [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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.

WebMD Daily

Get breaking medical news.