What is Hepsera?Hepsera is used to treat chronic hepatitis B in people 12 years and older. It belongs to a class of drugs known as nucleotide analogs.
What is the most important information I should know about Hepsera?Severe worsening of hepatitis may occur in people who discontinue Hepsera. This usually happens within 12 weeks after stopping. You will need to have regular blood tests to check for liver function and hepatitis B virus levels if you stop taking Hepsera.
Some cases of severe liver damage and death have been reported with drugs like Hepsera. Call your doctor right away if you develop any of the following: yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes (jaundice); dark-colored urine; light-colored bowel movements (stools); loss of appetite for several days or longer; feeling sick to your stomach (nausea); lower stomach pain.
Hepsera may cause a severe kidney problem called nephrotoxicity. It usually happens in people that already have a kidney problem, but it can happen to anyone that uses Hepsera. You will need to have regular blood tests to check for kidney function while you are taking Hepsera.
If you get or have HIV that is not being treated with medicines, Hepsera may increase the chances your HIV infection cannot be treated with usual HIV drugs. This HIV resistance may occur if you have hepatitis B along with unrecognized or untreated HIV infection.
Some people who have taken nucleoside or nucleotide analogs like Hepsera have developed a serious condition called lactic acidosis (build up of an acid in the blood). Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and must be treated in the hospital. Call your doctor right away if you develop any of the following: extreme weakness or tiredness; unusual muscle pain; trouble breathing; stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feeling cold, especially in your arms and legs; dizziness or light-headedness; fast or irregular heartbeat.
Who should not take Hepsera?You should not take Hepsera if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Hepsera?Before taking Hepsera tell your doctor about all medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Tell your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ever had kidney problems.
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 and children 12 years and older: The recommended dose in people with adequate kidney function is 10 milligrams once daily. Your doctor may adjust the dose if you have kidney problems.
Hepsera is not recommended for use in children less than 12 years old.
How should I take Hepsera?Take Hepsera as directed by your doctor. Do not change the dose or stop taking Hepsera without talking to your doctor. Your hepatitis may get worse if you change doses or stop. You may take Hepsera with or without food.
What should I avoid while taking Hepsera?Avoid taking any other medicines during treatment with Hepsera unless your doctor has told you it is okay.
Because Hepsera does not stop you from passing the hepatitis B virus to others, avoid doing things that can spread the infection. For example, do not share needles or other injection equipment; do not share personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them, like toothbrushes or razor blades; and do not have any kind of sex without protection such as condoms and dental dams.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Hepsera?If Hepsera is taken with certain drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Always check with your doctor before combining Hepsera with other medications, especially nucleoside analogs (such as medicines used to treat HIV and hepatitis B) or drugs that may affect kidney function.
What are the possible side effects of Hepsera?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: weakness, headache, stomach pain, nausea, changes in kidney function
Can I receive Hepsera if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of Hepsera in pregnant women. Hepsera should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit to the mother justifies the potential risk to the fetus. It is not known if Hepsera is excreted in breast milk.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Hepsera?Ask your doctor for advice.
How should I store Hepsera?Store at room temperature.