Lamivudine, 3TC tablets
What do lamivudine tablets do?
LAMIVUDINE, 3TC (Epivir(R), Epivir(R)—HBV(TM)) is used to treat infections due to hepatitis B and HIV. Lamivudine can slow down the damage caused by hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). When used to treat HIV, lamivudine is used in combination with other agents. Lamivudine will not cure or prevent hepatitis B infection, HIV infection or AIDS.
What should my health care professional know before I take lamivudine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• If you frequently drink alcohol-containing beverages
• kidney disease
• organ transplant
• other liver disease
• tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
• an unusual or allergic reaction to lamivudine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take lamivudine tablets by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow tablets with a drink of water. If lamivudine upsets your stomach, you can take it with food. If you find it difficult to swallow the tablets, ask your prescriber or health care professional if you can take lamivudine oral solution. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Do not stop taking this medicine except on your prescriber's advice.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, but then remember it during that same day, take it as soon as you can. Then take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time the following day. Do not take 2 doses at once to make up for a missing dose. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses. If you are still unsure about what to do it you miss a dose, check with your prescriber or health care provider for further instructions.
What other medicines can interact with lamivudine?
• sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim, SMX-TMP (Bactrim(R), Septra(R))
• zalcitabine, ddC
Epivir(R)-HBV(TM) tablets contain a lower dose of the same drug (lamivudine) as Epivir(R) Oral solution and tablets, Combivir(R), and Trizivir(R); therefore, Epivir(R)-HBV tablets should not be taken with any of these products. Discuss any changes in your treatment with your health care provider.
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including nonprescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking lamivudine?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• breathing difficulties or shortness of breath
• changes in body appearance (weight gain around waist and/or face)
• muscle aches, pains, or weakness
• pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands or feet
• passing out or fainting
• severe vomiting or diarrhea
• slow or irregular heartbeat
• symptoms of high blood sugar: dizziness, dry mouth, flushed dry-skin, fruit-like breath odor, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach ache, unusual thirst, frequent passing of urine.
• unusual stomach pain or discomfort
• unusual weakness, fatigue or discomfort
• worsening jaundice or other signs of hepatitis
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• nausea, vomiting
• difficulty sleeping
• hair loss
• runny or stuffy nose
• skin rash