Epivir-HBV is a brand name for lamivudine, which should never be interchangeably used with Epivir as the latter contains a much higher dose of lamivudine. Epivir-HBV is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or NRTI for short, and comes in either oblong, butterscotch-colored tablets, or liquids.
How It Works
This medication works by reducing the amount of hepatitis B in the blood by stopping the virus from multiplying further. As hepatitis B is highly contagious, taking Epivir-HBV can decrease the risk of transmitting the virus to other people.
Epivir-HBV is basically used to treat hepatitis B, which is an infection of the liver. It is, however, not a cure.
If you have been prescribed Epivir-HBV, you would normally be instructed to take it once a day. Take the medication directly as advised by your doctor and read the prescription label for detailed information. Never attempt to alter the recommended dosage or dose frequency. Once you are feeling well, do not immediately stop taking the medication without consulting the doctor. In fact, it should be taken consistently during the period recommended for treatment. Missing a dose or doubling on it to make up for a missed one can make your condition more difficult to treat and may sometimes even develop complications.
If you are diabetic, kindly note that each tablespoon or 15 ml of lamivudine solution may contain around 3g of sucrose.
Taking Epivir-HBV is not without side effects. If you feel that the following are severe or persistent, contact your doctor:
Loss of appetite
Seek immediate medical help, especially since lamivudine-based medications have been reported to cause serious damage to the liver, if you experience the following:
Numbness, tingling, or burning feeling in your fingers or toes
Vomiting (in children)
Nausea (in children)
Ongoing pain that begins in the stomach area that may spread to the back (in children)
It is important to take some precautionary measures before taking Epivir-HBV. Inform your doctor if any of the following is applicable:
Being allergic to lamivudine, or any other medications.
Currently taking or planning to take to any medications, both prescribed or over the counter, including vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal-based products, especially if it is Intron A,Copegus, Rebetol, Bactrim, or Septra .
Having or ever had hepatitis B, hepatitis C, kidney disease, or pancreas disease, the latter applying to children only.
Pregnant, or plan to be. If you get pregnant while taking the medication, make sure to contact the doctor.
Breastfeeding, as it is advisable not to so during treatment. So get alternative solutions to feed your baby.
For reference and emergency purposes, keep a record of your doctor appointments and a written list of all your prescription and nonprescription medications. It is recommended that you these with you each time you visit the doctor or if you are admitted to the hospital. It is also important that you do not let anyone else, even if he/she has the same symptoms are you are, to take your medication.