Epivir (Generic)

Epivir in Australia

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Epivir (laminuvide) is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body. It is used for treating HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Generic Epivir may also be marketed as: Lamivudine, Epivir, Epivir HBV.

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Lamivudine is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Lamivudine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. Lamivudine HBV is used to treat chronic hepatitis B. Laminuvide-HBV should not be used in people who are infected with both hepatitis B and HIV. It works by blocking the ability of the hepatitis B virus to multiply and infect new liver cells.

For the treatment of HIV infection, the recommended dose for adults is 150 mg twice daily for those weighing 50 kg or more and 2 mg/kg twice daily if less than 50 kg.

Children (12 to 16 years old) weighing 50 kg or more should receive 150 mg twice daily.

Children (3 months to 12 years old) should be treated with 4 mg/kg twice daily up to a maximum dose of 300 mg daily.

For post exposure prevention of HIV infection, 150 mg twice daily of lamivudine is administered in conjunction with 600 mg daily of zidovudine (Retrovir) for 28 days.

Hepatitis B is treated with 100 mg twice daily.

Lamivudine may be administered without regard to meals.

Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Because a side effect is stated here, it does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.

  • Headache
  • Difficulty in sleeping (insomnia)
  • Cough
  • Disturbances of the gut such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
  • Rash
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Pain in the muscles and joints
  • Fatigue
  • General feeling of being unwell (malaise)
  • Fever (pyrexia)
  • Decrease in the number of a type of white blood cell (neutrophil) in the blood (neutropenia)
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Liver disorders
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Disorder of the peripheral nerves causing weakness and numbness (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Elevated levels of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis)

The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects that may occur.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Laminuvide. Alcohol may increase the risk of damage to the pancreas and/or liver.
Taking Laminuvide will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people through unprotected sex or sharing of needles. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex, such as using a condom and spermicide. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Use with caution in:

  • Decreased kidney function
  • Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly)
  • Liver disease
  • Hepatitis, especially chronic hepatitis B or C
  • History of alcohol abuse
  • Obese women.

Not to be used in

  • Allergy to any ingredient.
  • This medicine is not recommended for children under three months of age.

This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.

If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

You should tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are using, particularly those listed below, before you start treatment with this medicine. This includes those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines. Likewise, check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicines while you are taking this medicine, so they can check that the combination is safe.

Trimethoprim may increase the blood level of lamivudine. This should not require a dose adjustment unless you have kidney problems, however you should be well monitored by your doctor if you are prescribed trimethoprim or co-trimoxazole (which contains trimethoprim) while taking this medicine. The manufacturer recommends that high doses of co-trimoxazole for the treatment of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and toxoplasmosis should be avoided in people taking this medicine.

The manufacturer recommends that this medicine is not used in combination with the following medicines:

  • foscarnet
  • ganciclovir
  • zalcitabine

There have been reports of a high rate of virological failure and the emergence of resistance at early stage when lamivudine was combined with tenofovir plus abacavir as triple therapy. This problem has also occured when lamivudine was combined with tenofovir plus didanosine as triple therapy.

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep away from children and pets.

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