Lamivudine

Generic Name (active ingredient): Lamivudine
Brand Name: Zeffix, Epivir

Lamivudine is antiviral preparation that selectively inhibit replication of HIV-1 and HIV-2 viruses, it is highly effective against hepatitis B virus (HBV).

How does the medication work?
Lamivudine is antiviral preparation-nucleoside analogue. It is highly effective against hepatitis B virus. In infectious and non-infectious cells lamivudine is metabolized into its active form-lamivudine triphosphate-which serves as substrate for DNA-polymerase of viral hepatitis B. Lamivudine embeds into viral DNA and then blocks the further formation of DNA chain. Lamivudine does not act on DNA in mammals.
Lamivudine is mild inhibitor of RNA and DNA-dependent HIV reverse transcriptase. It is active against hiv strains resistant to zidovudine.

When Lamivudine is prescribed?

  • Progressing HIV-infection (for solution 10mg/ml and 150mg tablets)
  • Chronic viral hepatitis B (for solution 5mg/ml and tablets 100mg)

What should I know before taking Lamivudine?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Lamivudine or to any other medicines such as:

  • Zidovudine, Didanosine, Stavudine, Telbivudine

Do not take Lamivudine if any of the below conditions apply to you:

  • Hypersensitivity to any of the medication ingredients
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Severe kidney diseases (renal failure)

Before taking Lamivudine, tell your health care provider about any other medicines you take or if you have any of the following disorders:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Pancreatitis in anamnesis

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeed, you should take Lamivudine only under a strict control of your doctor. Lamivudine belongs to a pregnancy category C meaning that it may not be safe to use this drug during pregnancy.

How to take Lamivudine:
Lamivudine is available in the form of solution and tablets. These medications are taken by mouth one or two times daily. You should strictly follow all doctor's recommendation during the treatment with Lamivudine. Missing doses can increase the chance of the virus developing resistance to lamivudine. Dosage of Lamivudine is prescribed individually by physician.

Take the entire amount of Lamivudine prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better before the end of the treatment. If you stop taking medication too early, symptoms may return.
If you missed the scheduled dose, take the medication as soon as you remember, but skip the dose if it is almost the time for the following dose. Do not take two doses at once.

What are the side effects of Lamivudine?
Lamivudine may cause the following side effects:

  • Digestive system: stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, nausea, vomiting, pancreatitis, acidosis, sings of liver damage, changes in distribution of fats in the organism
  • CNS: general weakness, headache, drowsiness, insomnia. In patients with HIV infection: peripheral neuropathy and pancreatitis.
  • Respiratory system: respiratory infections, cough, flu-like syndrome
  • Hemopoietic system: neutropenia, anemia
  • Other: skin rash, allergic reactions, alopecia, muscle and joint, fever, sweating (lactic acidosis), unusual bleeding,

If you experience any side effect that last long or becomes bothersome, please inform your doctor as dose adjustment or treatment discontinuation may be required.

Which are Lamivudine overdose symptoms?
If you overdose Lamivudine, seek immediate medical attention. The symptoms of overdose are not know. Most probably Lamivudine in high doses may cause effects similar to side effects.

Which other medicines may affect Lamivudine?
Lamivudine may interact with the following groups of drugs:

  • Interferon medications
  • Antivirals (ribavirin, zalcitabine)
  • Sulfa drugs (co-tromoxazole)

For a complete list of possible interactions ask your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking Lamivudine, let your doctor know what other medicines, including OTC, you currently take.

How should I store Lamivudine?
Lamivudine tablets and solution should be stored and dry and protected from light place out of reach of children. Do not store the medication in the bathroom.

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