lamivudine (generic name)

It is used to treat hepatitis B
(la ME vyoo deen, 3TC)
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What is this medicine?

LAMIVUDINE, 3TC (la ME vyoo deen, 3TC) is an antiviral medicine. It is used to treat hepatitis B. 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:
  • diabetes
  • drink alcohol daily
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • organ transplant
  • pancreatitis
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to lamivudine, 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 may take this medicine with or without food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take each dose exactly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine even if you feel better. Skipping doses may make the hepatitis B virus resistant to this medicine and other medicines. Do not stop taking except on your doctor's advice.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 2 years old for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you've taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

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?

  • other lamivudine medicines
  • sulfamethoxazole; trimethoprim, SMX-TMP
  • trimethoprim
  • zalcitabine, ddC

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.

Hepatitis B is spread to others through sexual or blood contact. Talk to your doctor about how to stop the spread of hepatitis B.

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:
  • breathing difficulties
  • depression
  • muscle aches, pains, weakness
  • pain, tingling, numbness in the hands or feet
  • unusually weak or tired
  • weight gain around waist, back, or thinning of face, arms, legs
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes

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

  • cough
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty sleeping
  • hair loss
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • runny, stuffy nose
  • stomach pain, upset

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at a room temperature of 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). 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: October 13, 2011
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