Lower-cost generic availableClass: Infection

Epivir Alternatives

(lamivudine)

Lower-cost generic availableClass: Infection
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Compare Epivir (lamivudine) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Epivir (lamivudine) or used for similar purposes.

Epivir
(lamivudine)

Emtriva
(emtricitabine)

Viread
(tenofovir)

Ziagen
(abacavir)

Retrovir
(zidovudine, azt, or zdv)

Zerit
(stavudine)

Videx
(didanosine or ddl)

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. lamivudine is currently one of the most popular drugs within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a first-line and commonly used drug that is taken in combination with other HIV medications to treat or prevent HIV.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Also treats Hepatitis B Virus. Viread (tenofovir) is a first-line choice to be used in combination with other medications to treat HIV. Viread (tenofovir) is also a first-line choice in treating HBV.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. If you don't have an allergic reaction to the drug and have good liver function, then this drug is a decent option within within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Also prevents mother-to-child sharing of HIV. AZT can be a good second-line choice to take within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class. AZT can have a number of serious side effects, but if you don't have prior blood, kidney, or liver problems, you should consider it.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class, stavudine can be a difficult drug to take. stavudine has numerous serious side effects and probably won't be your first choice.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class, Videx can be a difficult drug to take. Videx has numerous serious side effects. It is also difficult taking Videx twice a day on an empty stomach.
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Have you used Epivir (lamivudine)?
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Have you used Emtriva (emtricitabine)?
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Have you used Viread (tenofovir)?
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Have you used Ziagen (abacavir)?
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Have you used Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv)?
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Have you used Zerit (stavudine)?
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Have you used Videx (didanosine or ddl)?
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Side effects
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex

We haven’t found good data for Epivir side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Epivir »
  • Diarrhea 23%
  • Nasal stuffiness/runniness (rhinitis) 18%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Rash 17%
  • Physical weakness and/or lack of energy 16%
  • Increased cough 14%
  • Headache 13%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Sleep difficulty 7%
More Emtriva side effects »
  • Rash 18%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Headache 14%
  • Pain 13%
  • Low mood disorder 11%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Weakness 10%
  • Back pain 9%
  • Abdominal pain 22%
  • Sleep difficulty 18%
More Viread side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Ziagen side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Ziagen »

We haven’t found good data for Retrovir side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Retrovir »

We haven’t found good data for Zerit side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Zerit »

We haven’t found good data for Videx side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Videx »
How it works
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
lamivudine stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). It treats HIV by stopping the virus from replicating within cells in your immune system.Viread (tenofovir) is a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor that prevents both HIV and hepatitis B virus from making copies of itself.abacavir stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.AZT stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.stavudine stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.Videx stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.
Type of medication
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Powder
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
  • HIV Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
  • HIV
  • Exposure to other infections
Detailed Epivir (lamivudine) risks & warnings »
  • Liver disease
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Hepatitis B Virus infection
  • HIV
Detailed Emtriva (emtricitabine) risks & warnings »
  • Liver disease
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Hepatitis B Virus infection
  • History of mental illness
Detailed Viread (tenofovir) risks & warnings »
  • Prior severe allergic reaction to abacavir
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
  • HIV
Detailed Ziagen (abacavir) risks & warnings »
  • Advanced HIV
  • Anemia
  • Neutropenia
  • Longtime use of AZT
  • Women
Detailed Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv) risks & warnings »
  • Use of hydroxyurea, didanosine, and stavudine together
  • HIV
  • Exposure to other infections
  • Start of a new HIV medication
  • Change in HIV therapy
Detailed Zerit (stavudine) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney problems
  • Use of stavudine, another HIV drug
  • Women
  • Use of hydroxyurea, stavudine, and Videx together
Detailed Videx (didanosine or ddl) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Interactions
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many different medications.
No interactions related info.
Food
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
No food related info.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be taken at the same time everyday, with or without food.
  • Taken with or without food once a day.
  • Taken only once daily, with or without food.
No food related info.
  • Take AZT with or without food.
  • Take with or without food.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
  • lamivudine can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use lamivudine. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • Severe worsening of Hepatitis B has been seen in patients who have stopped taking lamivudine. Liver function should be closely watched in people who have both HIV and HBV.
  • The dose of lamivudine needs to be lowered if you have kidney problems.
  • The dose of Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be adjusted if you have poor kidney health. Your doctor will provide lab tests to ensure you are taking the appropriate dose. Be sure to attend your scheduled doctor and lab appointments in order to make sure that Emtriva (emtricitabine) is working well and safely for you.
  • Patients with kidney damage will need to be closely monitored by their doctors in order to provide an appropriate dose.
  • Viread (tenofovir) is not yet approved for treating Hepatitis B. If you have hepatitis B and HIV, don't stop taking Viread (tenofovir) without talking to your doctor since your hepatitis can get worse. Your doctor will check your liver regularly.
  • People on Viread (tenofovir) have reported kidney damage, which can be made worse if you take high doses of anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs (Motrin/Advil, Aleve, Mobic, Voltaren, etc.). Call your doctor if you develop bone pain, pain in your arms or legs, or pain and weakness in your muscles.
  • There are newer formulations of Viread (tenofovir) available that are safer on your kidneys.
  • Not recommended for patients with kidney damage.
  • abacavir can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use abacavir. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • This is not a great medication to take if you have liver problems.
  • AZT can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use AZT. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • Poor kidney function will affect how much AZT you can take.
  • stavudine can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use stavudine. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • May cause serious side effects in your liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
  • Videx can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use Videx. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
  • May cause serious side effects in your liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
Pain
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
  • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis), and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
No pain related info.No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
  • lamivudine is available as a tablet and oral solution.
  • Can be taken once or twice a day.
  • One of the more popular drugs in its class.
  • lamivudine is contained in the following combination products: Combivir, Epzicom, and Trizivir.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a first-line drug option used in combination with other HIV medications to treat HIV.
  • Taken with or without food once a day.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is available in many combination tablets if you are looking to lower the number of pills you need to take daily for HIV treatment.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is available as a capsule as well as liquid form.
  • Can be used with other medications to prevent HIV infection after an exposure.
  • Taken only once daily, with or without food.
  • There are newer formulations of Viread (tenofovir) available that are safer on your kidneys.
  • If tablets are hard for you to swallow, Viread (tenofovir) is available in a powder that's mixed with soft foods.
  • Can take one tablet twice a day, or two tablets once a day.
  • abacavir is in a number of other combination meds, so you may be able to find a single drug that has abacavir and other HIV medicines you are taking in a single product.
  • Can be used for kids 3 months and older.
  • AZT is provided as capsules, tablets, and syrup.
  • Used in kids and babies.
  • Take AZT with or without food.
  • AZT is included in the combination drugs Trizivir (AZT, Epivir, and Ziagen) and Combivir (AZT and Epivir), both of which are taken twice a day.
  • stavudine is provided as both capsules and an oral solution.
  • Take with or without food.
  • Can be used by patients on dialysis.
  • While stavudine doesn’t cure HIV, it does reduce the number of viral copies being made in your blood, giving your healthy immune cells (CD4 cells) a better chance to do their job.
  • The oral solution can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 30 days.
  • While Videx doesn’t cure HIV, it does reduce the number of viral copies being made in your blood, giving your healthy immune cells (CD4 cells) a better chance to do their job.
Downsides and risks
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
  • lamivudine should not be used with any other drugs containing Emtriva (emtricitabine) since both are so similar to each other.
  • Use with caution in kids with a history of pancreatitis (pancreas infection).
  • Most common side effects are headache, nausea, tiredness, congestion, diarrhea, and cough.
  • The dose of lamivudine needs to be lowered if you have kidney problems.
  • Patients with kidney damage will need to be closely monitored by their doctors in order to provide an appropriate dose.
  • Cannot be used by itself to treat or prevent HIV infection.
  • Viread (tenofovir) can't be used on its own to treat HIV infection.
  • Not recommended for patients with kidney damage.
  • Can weaken your bones.
  • Might worsen hepatitis B infections if you suddenly stop taking it.
  • This is not a great medication to take if you have liver problems.
  • Severe allergic reactions to abacavir are possible. Genetic testing may help identify if you are likely to react poorly to abacavir.
  • Once someone has an allergic reaction to abacavir, they can't take any other medications containing abacavir in the future.
  • AZT may cause serious blood, muscle, and liver problems.
  • Poor kidney function will affect how much AZT you can take.
  • Allergies to AZT are rare, but very serious.
  • Need to get regular blood tests.
  • Must take twice a day, every 12 hours.
  • The amount of stavudine you will take is based on your body weight, kidney, and liver function.
  • Interacts with many different medications.
  • May cause serious side effects in your liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
  • Can cause significant tingling in your hands or feet.
  • Must take on an empty stomach at least 30 minutes before, or 2 hours after eating.
  • Take twice a day.
  • The amount of Videx you will take is based on your body weight, kidney, and liver function.
  • May cause serious side effects in your liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
  • Can cause significant tingling in your hands or feet.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
EpivirEmtrivaVireadZiagenRetrovirZeritVidex
  • The doses for lamivudine are different for HIV and Hepatitis B.
  • If being used for kids, the dose of lamivudine will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
  • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking lamivudine and report them to your doctor.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be taken at the same time everyday, with or without food.
  • For missed doses, take one if you remember within 12 hours of your regularly scheduled time. Don't take extra medicine or double up if you've missed a previous dose.
  • Keep your regularly scheduled doctor's and lab appointments. These help ensure your medication is working well and safely.
  • Immediately report any signs of liver problems (jaundice, dark urine, yellowing of eyes, etc.) or sensitivity reactions (rash, fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, etc.) to your prescriber.
  • Avoid taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and Aleve in order to prevent damage to kidneys.
  • Patients should be tested for both HIV and Hepatitis B virus (HBV) before starting Viread (tenofovir).
  • Viread (tenofovir) powder should be mixed into soft food like applesauce or yogurt. Take it immediatly after mixing, otherwise the taste can turn bitter. Viread (tenofovir) powder cannot be mixed into liquids.
  • Immediately report any signs of liver problems (jaundice, dark urine, yellowing of eyes, etc.) or sensitivity reactions (rash, fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, etc.) to your prescriber.
  • Keep your regularly scheduled doctor's and lab appointments. These help ensure your medication is working well and safely.
  • To best deal with stomach upset and other side effects, either take abacavir twice a day for lower effects throughout the day, or once a day at night to sleep through the bulk of effects.
  • Work with your healthcare provider to get regular blood tests. The goal is to make sure the drug is working well and safely.
  • If being used for kids, the dose of abacavir will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
  • Don't take AZT with stavudine, another HIV drug.
  • Work with your doctor to get regular blood tests. The goal is to make sure the drug is working well and safely.
  • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking AZT and report them to your doctor.
  • Read the Medication Guide given to you at the pharmacy about AZT since it contains helpful information.
  • Set a timer on your phone to make sure you don't forget to take stavudine at the right time.
  • Talk with your doctor about all other medications you are taking since stavudine interacts with many other drugs.
  • Work with your doctor to get regular blood tests. The goal is to make sure the drug is working well and safely.
  • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking stavudine and report them to your doctor.
  • Talk with your doctor about all other medications you are taking since Videx interacts with many other drugs.
  • Work with your doctor to get regular blood tests. The goal is to make sure the drug is working well and safely.
  • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking Videx and report them to your doctor.
  • Read the Medication Guide given to you at the pharmacy about Videx since it contains helpful information.
Learn more
More about EpivirSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Epivir (lamivudine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about EmtrivaSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Emtriva (emtricitabine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about VireadSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Viread (tenofovir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZiagenSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Ziagen (abacavir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RetrovirSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Retrovir (zidovudine, azt, or zdv)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZeritSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Zerit (stavudine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about VidexSide effectsFDA package insert
Have you used Videx (didanosine or ddl)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it