Epivir interferes with the virus's ability to reproduce in the human body and thereby delays the collapse of the human immune system. It is also used for treatment of chronic hepatitis B.
Epivir must be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. You must continue to take it even if you have started feeling better. You may take it with or without food.
If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember. However if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the Missed Dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Store Epivir at room temperature and avoid direct exposure to sunlight or moisture. Brief storage at 59 to 86 °F (15 to 30 °C) is permitted. Keep it out of the reach of children.
Epivir does not eliminate HIV from the body. The infection can still be passed to others through sexual contact or blood contamination.
Lactic acid build-up in the blood (lactic acidosis) and severe liver disease, including death, have been reported with the use of lamivudine, either alone or in combination with other drugs, used to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (e.g., zidovudine, ritonavir). HIV counseling and testing should be offered both before and during treatment to all patients, using Epivir-HBV. Lamivudine-HBV contains a lower dose of lamivudine drug, used to treat HIV infection. Use of Epivir-HBV in patients with unknown or untreated HIV infection could result in resistant strains of HIV. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Tell your doctor your medical history especially of: infection with HIV, kidney problems, liver problems, blood disorders, pancreas problems, alcohol use, allergies (especially drug allergies). This drug may make you dizzy; use caution, engaging in activities, requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Liquid preparations of lamivudine may contain sugar (sucrose); caution is advised in patients with diabetes. If you are diabetic, close monitoring of your blood sugar is recommended as you begin using this drug. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Caution is advised when using this drug in children (especially in children with pancreatitis) because they may be more sensitive to the effects of this drug. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. This medication has not been shown to affect the transmission of hepatitis B from mother to infant. Consult your doctor for more information. Epivir HBV passes into breast milk and may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Breast-feeding is not recommended while using this drug. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.