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Epivir is an anti-HIV treatment in the class of drugs called Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs). The body breaks down these drugs into chemicals that stop HIV from infecting uninfected cells in the body, but they do not help cells that have already been infected with the virus. Epivir is an important part of combination anti-HIV treatment. Epivir inhibits the reproduction of viruses in the body.
Before taking Epivir, tell your doctor if you have: kidney disease; liver disease; pancreatitis; problems with your muscles; or problems with your blood counts. Epivir does not reduce the risk of passing the HIV or hepatitis B virus to others. Avoid alcohol while taking Epivir. Alcohol may increase the risk of damage to the pancreas and/or liver. It is not known whether Epivir will be harmful to an unborn baby. It is very important to treat HIV/AIDS during pregnancy to reduce the risk of infecting the baby. It is not known whether Epivir passes into breast milk and what effect it may have on a nursing baby. To prevent transmission of the virus to uninfected babies, it is recommended that HIV-positive mothers not breast-feed. Epivir may interact with other medications resulting in reduced effectiveness and/or side effects. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other script or over-the-counter medications, including herbal products.

Side Effects

The possible side effects of Epivir are lactic acidosis and severe liver problems, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of reverse transcriptase inhibitors, alone or in combination. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience nausea, vomiting, or unusual or unexpected stomach discomfort; weakness and tiredness; shortness of breath; weakness in the arms and legs; yellowing of the skin or eyes; or pain in the upper stomach area. These may be early symptoms of lactic acidosis or liver problems. Serious cases of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) have also been reported with the use of Epivir. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of pancreatitis including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain. If you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives), stop taking Epivir and seek emergency medical attention.


Seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of a Epivir overdose are not known. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless your doctor directs otherwise.

Intake Guidelines

Take Epivir exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you. Take each dose with a full glass of water. Epivir can be taken with or without food. For the treatment of HIV or AIDS, Epivir is usually taken twice a day and is often prescribed in combination with other HIV medicines. Follow your doctor's instructions. For the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, Epivir is usually taken once a day. Follow your doctor's instructions. Store Epivir at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Other Brand Names

In some countries Epivir may also be known as:
- 3TC;
- Amilitrap;
- Ganvirel;
- Heptodine;
- Imunoxa;
- Kess;
- Ladiwin;
- Lamda;
- Lamibergen;
- Lamidac;
- Lamilea;
- Lamivir;
- Oralmuv;
- Ultraviral;
- Vuclodir;
- Vudirax;
- Zeffix;
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