Epivir

(lamivudine)

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Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection or chronic hepatitis B.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

Epivir (lamivudine) is a first-choice and commonly used medicine to take together with other HIV medications to treat HIV. It is also an alternative option for treating chronic hepatitis B.

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    $1611.03
Quick facts about Epivir
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status:
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (lamivudine)

Upsides

  • Epivir (lamivudine) can be used with many other HIV options to create a combination that's right for you.
  • Has very minimal interactions with other medications.
  • Available in tablet and liquid form.
  • Can be take once or twice a day. Also available in different combination pills so you don't have to take as many pills per day.
  • Available in cheaper generic form.
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What to expect from Epivir, on one page

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Downsides

  • Cannot take Epivir (lamivudine) by itself to treat HIV.
  • Might need to change dosage based on how well your kidneys function.
  • It is recommended to use other options to treat chronic hepatitis B before choosing Epivir (lamivudine) due to drug resistance.
  • You'll have to be tested for both HIV and hepatitis B, since the dose to treat hepatitis B is lower than the dose for HIV. If you have the lower dose, HIV can be harder to treat if you also have hepatitis B.
  • The liquid version of Epivir (lamivudine) has sugar, so if you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels might change.
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What to expect from Epivir, on one page

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How it works

Epivir (lamivudine) is a cytosine analog. It stops human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus from making copies of itself within the body.

Quick facts about Epivir
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status:
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (lamivudine)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Liquid
Tried Epivir? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Epivir (lamivudine) for Chronic hepatitis B treatment

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  • First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
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    Long term
  • Effectiveness
  • Full effects
  • First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
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  • Possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal signs and symptoms
  • Cough
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Side effect rates for Epivir (lamivudine)

From 532 clinical trials of Epivir when taken for chronic hepatitis b treatment
  • Ear, nose, and throat infections
    25%25%
    21%21%
  • Diarrhea
    14%14%
    12%12%
  • Sore throat
    13%13%
    8%8%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Epivir.

Epivir (lamivudine)
Placebo

People taking Epivir felt side effect more

People taking Epivir felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Epivir (lamivudine)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity

    Epivir (lamivudine) can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, right sided stomach pain, and dark urine . This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Epivir (lamivudine)

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Interactions
  • Has very minimal interactions with other medications.
Kidneys and liver
  • If you're taking Epivir (lamivudine) for hepatitis, your doctor will do regular blood tests to test you for HIV. The dose of Epivir (lamivudine) for hepatitis is much lower than for HIV. It could make possible HIV harder to treat if it's not caught in time.
  • Might need to change dosage based on how well your kidneys function.