What is lamivudine 150mg?

Lamivudine is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children 3 months of age and older. Lamivudine is always used in combination with other HIV medicines.

Lamivudine belongs to a class (group) of HIV drugs called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTIs block an HIV enzyme called reverse transcriptase. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking reverse transcriptase, NRTIs prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.

HIV medicines can’t cure HIV/AIDS, but taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. If you are taking HIV medicines, including lamivudine, don’t cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to.Lamivudine is also effective against hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in combination with other drugs and may be included in the HIV regimen of a person infected with both HIV and HBV. However, if you have both HIV and HBV infection and take lamivudine, your HBV infection may get much worse (flare up) if you stop taking lamivudine. Do not stop taking lamivudine without first talking to your health care provider. For more information on the HBV-related use of lamivudine, please refer to the HBV section of the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents.Epivir-HBV is a different type of lamivudine approved by FDA for the treatment of chronic HBV infection in adults and children 2 years of age and older. You should not take Epivir-HBV if you have or may have HIV infection. (See the WARNING above.)

What should I tell my health care provider before taking lamivudine?

Before taking lamivudine, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to lamivudine or any other medicines.
  • If you have or have had liver problems, including HBV or HCV infection.
  • If you have kidney problems.
  • If you have diabetes. Each 15-mL dose (150 mg) of lamivudine oral solution contains 3 grams of sucrose (common table sugar).
  • If you have or have had pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Lamivudine should be used with caution in children at risk for pancreatitis.
  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Taking lamivudine during pregnancy has not been associated with an increased risk of birth defects. Talk to your health care provider about possible risks with taking lamivudine when pregnant.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you are infected with HIV or are taking lamivudine.
  • If you are using hormone-based birth control (such as pills, injections, or implants). For more information, view the HIV and Birth Control infographic.

About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Lamivudine may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how lamivudine works. Taking lamivudine together with certain medicines or products may cause serious, life-threatening side effects.

How should I take lamivudine?

Lamivudine (brand name: Epivir) comes in the following forms and strengths:

  • 150-mg tablets.
  • 300-mg tablets.
  • 10-mg/mL oral solution. An oral solution is a mixture of a medicine and a liquid that can be taken by mouth.

Take lamivudine according to your health care provider’s instructions. For children 3 months and older, your healthcare provider will prescribe a dose of lamivudine based on your child’s body weight. Take lamivudine by mouth, with or without food. Tell your healthcare provider if you have trouble swallowing tablets. Lamivudine also comes as an oral solution.Always take lamivudine in combination with other HIV medicines. If you take too much lamivudine, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.For more information on how to take lamivudine, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of lamivudine, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can lamivudine cause?

Lamivudine may cause side effects. Most side effects from lamivudine are manageable, but a few can be serious. Serious side effects of lamivudine include lactic acidosis (buildup of lactic acid in the blood), severe liver problems, and pancreatitis in children at risk for pancreatitis. (See the WARNING above.)Other possible side effects of lamivudine include:

Changes in body fat (including gain or loss of fat).

Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), a condition that sometimes occurs when the immune system begins to recover after treatment with an HIV medicine. As the immune system gets stronger, it may have an increased response to a previously hidden infection.

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.These are not all the possible side effects of lamivudine. To learn more about possible side effects of lamivudine, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist. The  fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects also includes information that may apply to lamivudine.

You can also report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088)

How should lamivudine be stored?

Store lamivudine tablets and oral solution at 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).

Do not use lamivudine if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.

Keep lamivudine oral solution in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed.

Throw away lamivudine that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.

Keep lamivudine and all medicines out of reach of children.

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