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Epivir HBV is an antiviral medication that is used to treat chronic hepatitis B virus infection associated with evidence of hepatitis B viral replication and active liver inflammation. It contains an active ingredient called lamivudine. Lamivudine is in a class of medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). It works by preventing the virus from multiplying in the body, which can slow down or stop the damage to the liver.
Epivir HBV can be used along with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children 3 months of age and older. It is not a cure for hepatitis B, but it can help slow the progression of the disease and improve liver health. Epivir HBV is not effective against other forms of viral hepatitis, such as hepatitis C.
Use and Dosage
Lamivudine is typically taken once or twice a day in tablet form, with or without food, as directed by your doctor or pharmacist. Carefully follow the instructions on your prescription label and ask your healthcare provider to clarify any questions you may have. Never take more or less of lamivudine than directed by your doctor.
While lamivudine can help manage and control HIV and hepatitis B, it is not a cure for either condition. You should continue taking lamivudine even if you feel well, and never stop taking it without first discussing it with your healthcare provider. If you miss a dose of lamivudine or need more, contact your doctor or pharmacist. Stopping or missing doses of lamivudine could make it more difficult to effectively treat your condition.
Common Side Effects of Epivir hbv (Lamivudine):
- Drainage from the ear
- Ear pain or full feeling
- Fussiness in a child
- General ill feeling
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose
- Trouble hearing
Serious Side Effects of Epivir hbv (Lamivudine):
- Clay-colored stools
- Cold sores
- Dark urine
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast or irregular heart rate
- Feeling cold
- Loss of appetite
- Menstrual changes and
- Night sweats
- Prickly feeling
- Problems with balance or eye movement
- Stomach pain
- Swelling around your midsection
- Swelling of your face lips tongue or throat
- Swollen glands
- Trouble speaking or swallowing
- Unusual muscle pain
- Weight loss
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
Forms and Strength
Epivir hbv (Lamivudine) is available in the following forms and strength:
- Exacerbations of Hepatitis B: Discontinuation of Epivir HBV can cause severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B in patients co-infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1). Therefore, patients should be closely monitored for several months after stopping Epivir HBV.
- Risk of Lactic Acidosis: Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogs alone or in combination with antiretrovirals.
- Risk of HIV-1 Resistance: Epivir HBV should not be used for the treatment of HIV-1 infection because the dose of lamivudine in Epivir HBV is not sufficient to treat HIV-1 infection.
- Use with Sorbitol: When possible, avoid concomitant use of sorbitol-containing medicines with lamivudine, which may interfere with the absorption of the medication.
- Risk of Hepatic Decompensation: Discontinuation of Epivir HBV may lead to severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B associated with liver decompensation and/or liver failure.
- Use in Pregnant Women: The safety of Epivir HBV in pregnant women has not been established. Therefore, pregnant women should use Epivir HBV only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
- Use in Breastfeeding Women: It is not known whether lamivudine is excreted in human milk. Therefore, caution should be exercised when Epivir HBV is administered to a nursing woman.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I drink alcohol while taking Epivir HBV?
You should talk to your doctor about drinking alcohol while taking Epivir HBV. Drinking alcohol can cause liver damage, and people with chronic hepatitis B are at higher risk of liver damage.
Can Epivir HBV interact with other medications?
Yes, Epivir HBV can interact with other medications, including other medications used to treat HIV or hepatitis B. Always tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking to avoid potential interactions.
How long is Epivir HBV treatment usually continued for?
The length of Epivir HBV treatment can vary depending on individual factors like the severity of the infection and the patient's response to treatment. Your doctor will be able to advise you on how long you should continue taking the medication.
Can Epivir HBV be used in children?
Yes, Epivir HBV may be used to treat chronic hepatitis B in children aged 2 to 17 years old. The recommended dose for children is based on their weight.
It's important to purchase Epivir HBV from verified Canadian pharmacy.