Epivir is an antiviral medication that is used in the treatment of HIV, by preventing the cells infected by the HIV virus from multiplying in the body. It can also be used as a treatment for chronic hepatitis B in the same way. This medication is not a cure for HIV, AIDS or chronic hepatitis B.
Epivir tablets should be stored at room temperature in an area that is protected from moisture and heat.
Before taking this medication, notify your doctor if any of the following apply to you: you have kidney disease; you have any types of liver disease; you have a history of pancreatitis; you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant; or if you have taken any medications in the past, especially those that are similar to lamivudine.
This medication can cause a buildup of lactic acid within the body, also called lactic acidosis, which is characterized by unusual muscle pain and weakness, trouble breathing, fast or uneven heart rate, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and numbness or cold feeling in your arms or legs. If you have any of these symptoms after taking Epivir, notify your doctor immediately, as this condition generally worsens over time and can be fatal. While taking Epivir, avoid drinking alcohol, as it may increase the risk of damage to the pancreas or liver.
Patient Family Information : This medication should be taken exactly as prescribed. When taking this medication follow your doctor’s directions on your prescription label. If you are unsure about the procedure in taking Epivir, contact your health care provider. Epivir tablets may be taken without regard to food.
Do not take Epivir if you are allergic to any of its contents. If you are taking Combivir or any other medications that include Lamivudine, do not take Epivir. If you are breast feeding, do not take Epivir.
Sever Side Effects : Severe side effects include: liver damage – nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); lactic acidosis – muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs
Common and less serious side effects include: cough; sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; joint or muscle pain; dizziness, headache, tired feeling; or changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms,