adefovir (generic name)

It is used to treat chronic hepatitis B
(a DEF o veer)
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What is this medicine?

ADEFOVIR (a DEF o veer) is an antiviral medicine. It is used to treat chronic hepatitis B. This medicine will not cure or prevent hepatitis B infection. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • HIV or AIDS
  • kidney disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to adefovir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medicine with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 12 years of age for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • any medicine that contains tenofovir

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • certain antibiotics given by injection (gentamicin, tobramycin, amikacin, vancomycin)
  • cyclosporine
  • dofetilide
  • NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen
  • medicines for HIV infection or AIDS
  • metformin
  • pemetrexed
  • tacrolimus

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check ups. Discuss any new symptoms with your doctor. You will need to have important blood work done while on this medicine. Blood tests will be used to check your liver function and hepatitis B virus levels.

A worsening of hepatitis can occur after stopping this medicine. Talk to your doctor before you stop taking this medicine. If you must stop the medicine, follow all the directions of your doctor.

Hepatitis B is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of hepatitis B. This medicine will not cure hepatitis B infection and you can still get other problems associated with your disease or pass hepatitis B to others.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • breathing problems
  • dark urine
  • dizzy, lightheaded
  • fast, irregular heart beat
  • fever, chills, or frequent sore throat
  • general ill feeling or flu-like symptoms
  • light-colored stools
  • trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine
  • unusual muscle pain
  • unusual stomach pain, such as right upper belly pain
  • unusually weak or tired
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • indigestion
  • itching
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store at room temperature between 15 to 30 degrees C (59 to 86 degrees F). Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: March 12, 2009
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