What is Epivir-HBV?Epivir-HBV is an antiviral medicine used to treat chronic (long-term) hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Epivir-HBV can help lower the amount of HBV in your body. Epivir-HBV is available in tablets and an oral solution.
What is the most important information I should know about Epivir-HBV?Epivir-HBV does not cure your chronic HBV infection, nor does it reduce the risk of passing HBV to others through sexual contact or exposure to infected blood.
Epivir-HBV contains a lower dose of lamivudine than the dose in other medicines used to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection (AIDS) (such as Epivir, Combivir, Epzicom, or Trizivir). Therefore, you should not take Epivir-HBV if you have both HBV and HIV infections. Treatment with Epivir-HBV in people with HIV infection can cause the HIV to be less treatable with lamivudine and some other medicines.
Epivir-HBV can cause a rare but a serious condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up of an acid in the blood). Tell your doctor immediately if you feel very weak or tired; have unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feel cold, especially in your arms and legs; feel dizzy or lightheaded; or have a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Epivir-HBV can cause serious liver problems with liver enlargement and fat in the liver. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, dark urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, nausea, or lower abdominal pain.
Worsening of your HBV infection can occur if you stop taking Epivir-HBV. Your doctor will monitor your health and do regular blood tests to check your liver function and HBV virus levels if you stop taking Epivir-HBV. Tell your doctor about any new or unusual symptoms after you stop taking Epivir-HBV.
Who should not take Epivir-HBV?Do not take Epivir-HBV if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not take Epivir-HBV if you have or may have HIV infection, or if you are already taking other HIV medications containing the same or similar active ingredients (such as Epivir, Combivir, Epzicom, or Trizivir).
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Epivir-HBV?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Epivir-HBV. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have HIV infection; diabetes; or problems with your blood, muscles, kidneys, or pancreas; or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The recommended dose is 100 milligrams (mg) (1 tablet or 20 milliliters [ml] of the oral solution) once a day.
Children 2-17 years: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on their weight.
If you have kidney impairment, your doctor will adjust your dose appropriately.
How should I take Epivir-HBV?Take Epivir-HBV exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and at the same time each day. Do not change your dose or stop taking Epivir-HBV without first talking to your doctor.
You can take Epivir-HBV with or without food. If you have difficulty swallowing tablets, your doctor may prescribe Epivir-HBV oral solution.
What should I avoid while taking Epivir-HBV?Do not breastfeed while you are taking Epivir-HBV.
Do not share needles or other injection equipment. Also, do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them (such as toothbrushes or razor blades).
Do not have unprotected sex.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Epivir-HBV?If Epivir-HBV is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Epivir-HBV with trimethoprim or zalcitabine.
What are the possible side effects of Epivir-HBV?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: abdominal discomfort and pain, chills, diarrhea, ear infections, fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, nausea, nose infections, skin rash, sore throat, throat infections, tiredness, vomiting
Can I receive Epivir-HBV if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Epivir-HBV during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Epivir-HBV can be found in your breast milk if you take it during breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Epivir-HBV. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Epivir-HBV?If you miss a dose of Epivir-HBV, take it as soon as you remember during that same day. Then, return to your regular dosing schedule the following day. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Epivir-HBV?Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.