Lamivudine (Epivir)
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Lamivudine (Epivir)

EPIVIR
(lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution

WARNING: RISK OF LACTIC ACIDOSIS, EXACERBATIONS OF HEPATITIS B IN I , CO-INFECTED PATIENTS UPON DISCONTINUATION OF EPIVIR (lamivudine) ®, DIFFERENT FORMULATIONS OF EPIVIR (lamivudine) .

Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues alone or in combination, including lamivudine and other antiretrovirals. Suspend treatment if clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity occur [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B have been reported in patients who are co-infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and have discontinued EPIVIR (lamivudine) . Hepatic function should be monitored closely with both clinical and laboratory follow-up for at least several months in patients who discontinue EPIVIR (lamivudine) and are co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV. If appropriate, initiation of anti-hepatitis B therapy may be warranted [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution (used to treat HIV-1 infection) contain a higher dose of the active ingredient (lamivudine) than EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV® Tablets and Oral Solution (used to treat chronic HBV infection). Patients with HIV-1 infection should receive only dosage forms appropriate for treatment of HIV-1 [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

DRUG DESCRIPTION

EPIVIR (also known as 3TC) is a brand name for lamivudine, a synthetic nucleoside analogue with activity against HIV-1 and HBV. The chemical name of lamivudine is (2R,cis)-4- amino-l-(2-hydroxymethyl-l,3-oxathiolan-5-yl)-(lH)-pyrimidin-2-one. Lamivudine is the (-)enantiomer of a dideoxy analogue of cytidine. Lamivudine has, also been referred to as (-)2',3'- dideoxy, 3'-thiacytidine. It has a molecular formula of C8H11N3O3S and a molecular weight of 229.3. It has the following structural formula:

EPIVIR (lamivudine) structural formula illustration

Lamivudine is a white to off-white crystalline solid with a solubility of approximately 70 mg/mL in water at 20°C.

EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets are for oral administration. Each scoredl50-mg film-coated tablet contains 150 mg of lamivudine and the inactive ingredients hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide.

Each 300-mg film-coated tablet contains 300 mg of lamivudine and the inactive ingredients black iron oxide, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide.

EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution is for oral administration. One, milliliter (1 mL) of EPIVIR Oral Solution contains 10 mg of lamivudine (10 mg/mL) in an aqueous solution and the inactive ingredients artificial strawberry and banana flavors, citric acid (anhydrous), methylparaben, propylene glycol, propylparaben, sodium citrate (dihydrate), and sucrose (200 mg).

What are the possible side effects of lamivudine (Epivir, Epivir HBV)?

Stop using lamivudine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:

  • liver damage - nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • lactic acidosis - muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, nausea with vomiting, and fast or uneven...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Epivir »

What are the precautions when taking lamivudine (Epivir)?

Before taking lamivudine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: pancreatitis, kidney problems, liver problems (such as hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis), alcohol use.

Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may increase your risk for liver problems and/or pancreatitis.

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Before having...

Read All Potential Precautions of Epivir »

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

INDICATIONS

EPIVIR (lamivudine) is a nucleoside analogue indicated in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) infection. Limitation of use: The dosage of this product is for HIV-1 and not for HBV.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Adults and Adolescents > 16 years of age

The recommended oral dose of EPIVIR (lamivudine) in HIV-1-infected adults and adolescents > 16 years of age is 300 mg daily, administered as either 150 mg twice daily or 300 mg once daily, in combination with other antiretroviral agents. If lamivudine is administered to a patient infected with HIV-1 and HBV, the dosage indicated for HIV-1 therapy should be used as part of an appropriate combination regimen [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Pediatric Patients

The recommended oral dose of EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution in HIV-1-infected pediatric patients 3 months to 16 years of age is 4 mg/kg twice daily (up to. a maximum of 150 mg twice a day), administered in combination with other antiretroviral agents.

EPIVIR (lamivudine) is also available as a scored tablet for HIV-1-infected pediatric patients who weigh ≥ 14 kg for whom a solid dosage form is appropriate. Before prescribing EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets, children should be assessed for the ability to swallow tablets. If a child is unable to reliably swallow EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets, the oral solution formulation should be prescribed. The recommended oral dosage of EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets for HIV-1 -infected pediatric patients is presented in Table 1.

Table 1: Dosing Recommendations for EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets in Pediatric Patients

Weight (kg) Dosage Regimen Using Scored 150 mg Tablet Total
Daily Dose
AM Dose PM Dose
14 to 21 ½ tablet (75 mg) ½ tablet (75 mg) 150 mg
> 21 to < 30 ½ tablet (75 mg) 1 tablet (150 mg) 225 mg
≥ 30 1 tablet (150 mg) 1 tablet '(T50mB) 300 mg

Patients With Renal Impairment

Dosing of EPIVIR (lamivudine) is adjusted in accordance with renal function. Dosage adjustments are listed in Table 2 [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Table 2: Adjustment of Dosage of EPIVIR (lamivudine) in Adults and Adolescents ( > 30 kg) in Accordance With Creatinine Clearance

Creatinine Clearance
(mL/min)
Recommended Dosage of EPIVIR
≥ 50 150 mg twice daily or 300mg once daily
30-49 150 mg once daily
15-29 150 mg first dose, then 100 mg once daily
5-14 150 mg first dose, then 50 mg once daily
< 5 50 mg first dose, then 25 mg once daily

No additional dosing of EPIVIR (lamivudine) is required after routine (4-hour) hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

Although there are insufficient data to recommend a specific dose adjustment of EPIVIR (lamivudine) in pediatric patients with renal impairment, a reduction in the dose and/or an increase in the dosing interval should be considered.

HOW SUPPLIED

Dosage Forms And Strengths

  • EPIVIR (lamivudine) Scored Tablets

150 mg, are white, diamond-shaped, scored, film-coated tablets debossed with "GX CJ7" on both sides.

  • EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets

300 mg, are gray, modified diamond-shaped, film-coated tablets engraved with "GX EJ7" on one side and plain on the reverse side.

  • EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution

A clear, colorless to pale yellow, strawberry-banana flavored liquid, contains 10 mg of lamivudine per 1 mL.

EPIVIR (lamivudine) Scored Tablets, 150 mg

White, diamond-shaped, scored, film-coated tablets debossed with "GX CJ7" on both sides.

Bottle of 60 tablets (NDC 0173-0470-01) with child-resistant closure.

EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets, 300 mg

Gray, modified diamond-shaped, film-coated tablets engraved with "GX EJ7" on one side and plain on the reverse side.

Bottle of 30 tablets (NDC 0173-0714-00) with child-resistant closure.

Recommended Storage:

Store EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets at 25°C (77°F); excursions permitted to 15° to 30°C (59° to 86°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution, 10 mg/mL

A clear, colorless to pale yellow, strawberry-banana-flavored liquid, contains 10 mg of lamivudine in each 1 mL.

Plastic bottle of 240 mL (NDC 0173-0471-00) with child-resistant closure. This product does not require reconstitution.

Recommended Storage:

Store in tightly closed bottles at 25°C (77°F) [see USP Controlled Room Temperature].

COMBIVIR, EPIVIR (lamivudine) , EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV, EPZICOM, and TRIZIVIR are registered trademarks of GlaxoSmithKline. ATRIPLA, EMTRIVA, and TRUVADA are trademarks of their respective owners and are not trademarks of GlaxoSmithKline. The makers of these brands are not affiliated with and do not endorse GlaxoSmithKline or its products. GlaxoSmithKline Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. FDA Rev date: 2/1/2008

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

SIDE EFFECTS

Clinical Trials Experience

The following adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adults - Clinical Trials in HIV-1: The safety profile of EPIVIR (lamivudine) in adults is primarily based on 3,568 HIV-1-infected patients in 7 clinical trials.

The most common adverse reactions are headache, nausea, malaise, fatigue, nasal signs and symptoms, diarrhea and cough.

Selected clinical adverse reactions of in ≥ 5% of patients during therapy with EPIVIR (lamivudine) 150 mg twice daily plus RETROVIR® 200 mg 3 times daily for up to 24 weeks are listed in Table 3.

Table 3: Selected Clinical Adverse Reactions ( ≥ 5% Frequency) in Four Controlled Clinical Trials (NUCA3001, NUCA3002, NUCB3001, NUCB3002)

Adverse Reaction EPIVIR150mg
Twice Daily plus RETROVIR
(n = 251)
RETROVIR*
(n - 230)
Body as a Whole
  Headache 35%: 27%
  Malaise & fatigue 27% 23%
  Fever or chills 10% 12%
Digestive
  Nausea 33% 29%
  Diarrhea 18% 22%
  Nausea & vomiting 13% 12%
  Anorexia and/or decreased appetite 10% 7%
  Abdominal pain 9% 11%
  Abdominal cramps 6% 3%
  Dyspepsia 5% 5%
Nervous System
  Neuropathy 12% 10%
  Insomnia & other sleep disorders 11% 7%
  Dizziness 10% 4%
  Depressive disorders 9% 4%
Respiratory
  Nasal signs & symptoms 20% 11%
  Cough 18% 13%
Skin
  Skin rashes 9% 6%
Musculoskeletal
  Musculoskeletal pain 12% 10%
  Myalgia 8% 6%
  Arthralgia 5% 5%
* Either zidovudine monotherapy or zidovudine in combination with zalcitabine.

Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis was observed in 9 of the 2,613 adult patients (0.3%) who received EPIVIR (lamivudine) in the controlled clinical trials EPV20001, NUCA3001, NUCB3001, NUCA3002, NUCB3002, and NUCB3007 [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

EPIVIR (lamivudine) 300 mg Once Daily: The types and frequencies of clinical adverse reactions reported in patients receiving EPIVIR (lamivudine) 300 mg once daily or EPIVIR (lamivudine) 150 mg twice daily (in 3-drug combination regimens in EPV20001 and EPV40001) for 48 weeks were similar.

Selected laboratory abnormalities observed during therapy are summarized in Table 4.

Table 4: Frequencies of Selected Grade 3-4 Laboratory Abnormalities in Adults in Four 24-Week Surrogate Endpoint Studies (NUCA3001, NUCA3002, NUCB3001, NUCB3002) and a Clinical Endpoint Study (NUCB 3007)

Test
(Threshold Level)
24-Week Surrogate Endpoint Studies* Clinical Endpoint Study*
EPIVIR plus
RETROVIR
RETROVIR EPIVIR plus Current Therapy Placebo plus Current Therapy
Absolute neutrophil count ( < 750/mm3) 7.2% 5.4% 15% 13%
Hemoglobin ( < 8.0 g/dL) 2.9% 1.8% 2.2% 3.4%
Platelets (< 50,000/mm3) 0.4% 1.3% 2.8% 3.8%
ALT( > 5.0xULN) 3.7% 3.6% 3.8% 1.9%
AST ( > 5.0 x ULN) 1.7% 1.8% 4.0% 2.1%
Bilirubin ( > 2.5 x ULN) 0.8% 0.4% ND ND
Amylase ( > 2.0 x ULN) 4.2% 1.5% 2.2% 1.1%
* The median duration on study was 12 months.
Either zidovudine monotherapy or zidovudine in combination with zalcitabine.
Current therapy was either zidovudine, zidovudine plus didanosine, or zidovudine plus zalcitabine.
ULN = Upper limit of normal.
ND = Not done.

The frequencies of selected laboratory abnormalities reported in patients receiving EPIVIR (lamivudine) 300 mg once daily or EPIVIR (lamivudine) 150 mg twice daily (in 3-drug combination regimens in EPV20001 and EPV40001) were similar.

Pediatric Patients - Clinical Trials in HIV-1: EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution has been studied in 638 pediatric patients 3 months to 18- years of age in 3 clinical trials.

Selected clinical adverse reactions and physical findings with a ≥ 5% frequency during therapy with EPIVIR (lamivudine) 4 mg/kg twice daily plus RETROVIR 160 mg/m2 3 times daily in therapy-naive ( ≤ 56 days of antiretroviral therapy) pediatric patients are listed in Table 5.

Table 5: Selected Clinical Adverse Reactions and Physical Findings ( ≥ 5% Frequency) in Pediatric Patients in Study ACTG3QIQ

Adverse Reaction EPIVIR plus
RETROVIR
(n = 236)
Didanosine
(n = 235)
Body as a Whole
Fever Digestive 25% 32%
Digestive    
  Hepatomegaly 11% 11%
  Nausea & vomiting 8% 7%
  Diarrhea 8% 6%
  Stomatitis 6% 12%
  Splenomegaly 5% 8%
Respiratory
  Cough 15% 18%
  Abnormal breath sounds/wheezing 7% 9%
Ear, Nose, and Throat
  Signs or symptoms of ears* 7% 6%
  Nasal discharge or congestion 8% 11%
Other
  Skin rashes 12% 14%
  Lymphadenopathy 9% 11%
*Includes pain, discharge, erythema, or swellng of an ear.

Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis, which has been fatal in some cases, has been observed in antiretroviral nucleoside-experienced pediatric patients receiving EPIVIR (lamivudine) alone or in combination with other antiretroviral agents. In an open-label dose-escalation study (NUCA2002), 14 patients (14%) developed pancreatitis while receiving monotherapy with EPIVIR (lamivudine) . Three of these patients died of complications of pancreatitis. In a second open-label study (NUCA2005), 12 patients (18%) developed pancreatitis. In Study ACTG300, pancreatitis was not observed in 236 patients randomized to EPIVIR (lamivudine) plus RETROVIR. Pancreatitis was observed in 1 patient in this study who received open-label EPIVIR (lamivudine) in combination with RETROVIR and ritonavir following discontinuation of didanosine monotherapy [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Paresthesias and Peripheral Neuropathies: Paresthesias and peripheral neuropathies were reported in 15 patients (15%) in Study NUCA2002, 6 patients (9%) in Study NUCA2005, and 2 patients ( < 1%) in Study ACTG300.

Selected laboratory abnormalities experienced by therapy-naive ( ≤ 56 days of antiretroviral therapy) pediatric patients are listed in Table 6.

Table 6: Frequencies of Selected Grade 3-4 Laboratory Abnormalities in Pediatric Patients in Study ACTG300

Test
(Threshold Level)
EPIVIR plus
RETROVIR
Didanosine
Absolute neutrophil count ( < 400/mm3) 8% 3%
Hemoglobin ( < 7.0 g/dL) 4% 2%
Platelets ( < 50,000/mm3) 1% 3%
ALT( > 10xULN) 1% 3%
AST( > 10xULN) 2% 4%
Lipase ( > 2.5-xULN) 3% 3%
Total Amylase ( > 2.5 x ULN) 3% 3%
ULN = Upper limit of normal.

Neonates - Clinical Trials in HIV-1: Limited short-term safety information is available from 2 small, uncontrolled studies in South Africa in neonates receiving lamivudine with or without zidovudine for the first week of life following maternal treatment starting at Week 38 or 36 of gestation [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Selected adverse reactions reported in these neonates included increased liver function tests, anemia, diarrhea, electrolyte disturbances, hypoglycemia, jaundice and hepatomegaly, rash, respiratory infections, and sepsis; 3 neonates died (1 from gastroenteritis with acidosis and convulsions, 1 from traumatic injury, and 1 from unknown causes). Two other nonfatal gastroenteritis or diarrhea cases were reported, including 1 with convulsions; 1 infant had transient renal insufficiency associated with dehydration. The absence of control groups limits assessments of causality, but it should be assumed that perinatally exposed infants may be at risk for adverse reactions comparable to those reported in pediatric and adult HIV-1-infected patients treated with lamivudine-containing combination regimens. Long-term effects of in utero and infant lamivudine exposure are not known.

Postmarketing Experience

In addition to adverse reactions reported from clinical trials, the following adverse reactions have been reported during postmarketing use of EPIVIR (lamivudine) . Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These reactions have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to lamivudine.

Body as a Whole: Redistribution/accumulation of body fat [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Endocrine and Metabolic: Hyperglycemia.

General: Weakness.

Hemic and Lymphatic: Anemia (including pure red cell aplasia and severe anemias progressing on therapy).

Hepatic and Pancreatic: Lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis, posttreatment exacerbation of hepatitis B [see Boxed Warning, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Hypersensitivity: Anaphylaxis, urticaria.

Musculoskeletal: Muscle weakness, CPK elevation, rhabdomyolysis.

Skin: Alopecia, pruritus.

Read the Epivir (lamivudine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Lamivudine is predominantly eliminated in the urine by active organic cationic secretion. The possibility of interactions with other drugs administered concurrently should be considered, particularly when their main route of elimination is active renal secretion via the organic cationic transport system (e.g., trimethoprim). No data are available regarding interactions with other drugs that have renal clearance mechanisms similar to that of lamivudine.

Interferon- and Ribavirin-Based Regimens

Although no evidence of a pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction (e.g., loss of HIV-1 /HCV virologic suppression) was seen when ribavirin was coadministered with lamivudine in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients, hepatic decompensation (some fatal) has occurred in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy for HIV-1 and interferon alfa with or without ribavirin [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Zalcitabine

Lamivudine and zalcitabine may inhibit the intracellular phosphorylation of one another. Therefore, use of lamivudine in combination with zalcitabine is not recommended.

Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX)

No change in dose of either drug is recommended. There is no information regarding the effect on lamivudine pharmacokinetics of higher doses of TMP/SMX such as those used to treat PCP.

Drugs with No Observed Interactions With EPIVIR (lamivudine)

A drug interaction study showed no clinically significant interaction between EPIVIR (lamivudine) and zidovudine.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

WARNINGS

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

PRECAUTIONS

Lactic Acidosis/Severe Hepatomegaly With Steatosis

Lactic acidosis and severe hepatomegaly with steatosis, including fatal cases, have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogues alone or in combination, including lamivudine and other antiretrovirals. A majority of these cases have been in women. Obesity and prolonged nucleoside exposure may be risk factors. Particular caution should be exercised when administering EPIVIR (lamivudine) to any patient with known risk factors for liver disease; however, cases have also been reported in patients with no known risk factors. Treatment with EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be suspended in any patient who develops clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity (which may include hepatomegaly and steatosis even in the absence of marked transaminase elevations).

Patients With HIV-1 and Hepatitis B Virus Co-infection

Posttreatment Exacerbations of Hepatitis: In clinical trials in non-HIV-1-infected patients treated with lamivudine for chronic hepatitis B, clinical and laboratory evidence of exacerbations of hepatitis have occurred after discontinuation of lamivudine. These exacerbations have been detected primarily by serum ALT elevations in addition to re-emergence of HBV DNA. Although most events appear to have been self-limited, fatalities have been reported in some cases. Similar events have been reported from postmarketing experience after changes from lamivudine-containing HIV-1 treatment regimens to non-lamivudine-containing regimens in patients infected with both HIV-1 and HBV. The causal relationship to discontinuation of lamivudine treatment is unknown. Patients should be closely monitored with both clinical and laboratory followup for at least several months after stopping treatment. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether re-initiation of lamivudine alters the course of posttreatment exacerbations of hepatitis.

Important Differences Among Lamivudine-Containinq Products: EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution contain a higher dose of the same active ingredient (lamivudine) than EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV Tablets and EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV Oral Solution. EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV was developed for patients with chronic hepatitis B. The formulation and dosage of lamivudine in EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV are not appropriate for patients co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV. Safety and efficacy of lamivudine have not been established for treatment of chronic hepatitis B in patients co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV. If treatment with EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV is prescribed for chronic hepatitis B for a patient with unrecognized or untreated HIV-1 infection, rapid emergence of HIV-1 resistance is likely to result because of the subtherapeutic dose and the inappropriateness of monotherapy HIV-1 treatment. If a decision is made to administer lamivudine to patients co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV, EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets, EPIVIR Oral Solution, COMBIVIR® (lamivudine/zidovudine) Tablets, EPZICOM® (abacavir sulfate and lamivudine) Tablets, or TRIZIVIR® (abacavir sulfate, lamivudine, and zidovudine) Tablets should be used as part of an appropriate combination regimen.

Emergence of Lamivudine-Resistant HBV: In non-HIV-1-infected patients treated with lamivudine for chronic hepatitis B, emergence of lamivudine-resistant HBV has been detected and has been associated with diminished treatment response (see full prescribing information for EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV for additional information). Emergence of hepatitis B virus variants associated with resistance to lamivudine has also been reported in HIV-1-infected patients who have received ramivudihe-coS concurrent infection with hepatitis B virus.

Use With Other Lamivudine- and Emtricitabine-Containing Products

EPIVIR (lamivudine) should not be administered concomitantly with other lamivudine-containing products including EPIVIR-HBV Tablets, EPIVIR Oral Solution COMBIVIR (lamivudine/zidovudine) Tablets, EPZICOM (abacavir sulfate and lamivudine) Tablets, or TRIZIVIR (abacavir sulfate, lamivudine, and zidovudine) or emtricitabine-containing products, including ATRIPLA™ (efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir), EMTRIVA® (emtricitabine), or TRUVADA® (emtricitabine and tenofovir).

Use With Interferon- and Ribavirin-Based Regimens

In vitro studies have shown ribavirin can reduce the phosphorylation of pyrimidine nucleoside analogues such as lamivudine. Although no evidence'of a pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction (e.g., loss of HIV-1/HCV virologic suppression) was seen when ribavirin was coadministered with lamivudine in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY], hepatic decompensation (some fatal) has occurred in HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy for HIV-1 and interferon alfa with or without ribavirin. Patients receiving interferon alfa with or without ribavirin and EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be closely monitored for treatment-associated toxicities, especially hepatic decompensation. Discontinuation of EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be considered as medically appropriate. Dose reduction or discontinuation of interferon alfa, ribavirin, or both should also be considered if worsening clinical toxicities are observed, including hepatic decompensation (e.g., Childs Pugh > 6). See the complete prescribing information for interferon and ribavirin.

Pancreatitis

In pediatric patients with a history of prior antiretroviral nucleoside exposure, a history of pancreatitis, or other significant risk factors for the development of pancreatitis, EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be used with caution. Treatment with EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be stopped immediately if clinical signs, symptoms, or laboratory abnormalities suggestive of pancreatitis occur [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Immune Reconstitution Syndrome

Immune reconstitution syndrome has been reported in patients treated with combination antiretroviral therapy, including EPIVIR (lamivudine) . During the initial phase of combination antiretroviral treatment, patients whose immune system responds may develop an inflammatory response to indolent or residual opportunistic infections (such as Mycobacterium avium infection, cytomegalovirus, Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia [PCP], or tuberculosis), which may necessitate further evaluation and treatment.

Fat Redistribution

Redistribution/accumulation of body fat including central obesity, dorsocervical fat enlargement (buffalo hump), peripheral wasting, facial wasting, breast enlargement, and "cushingoid appearance" have been observed in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy. The mechanism and long-term consequences of these events are currently unknown. A causal relationship has not been established .

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term carcinogenicity studies with lamivudine in mice and rats showed no evidence of carcinogenic potential at exposures up to 10 times (mice) and 58 times (rats) those observed in humans at the recommended therapeutic dose for HIV-1 infection. Lamivudine was not active in a microbial mutagenicity screen or an in vitrocell transformation assay, but showed weak in vitro mutagenic activity in a cytogenetic assay using cultured human lymphocytes and in the mouse lymphoma assay. However, lamivudine showed no evidence of in vivo genotoxic activity in the rat at oral doses of up to 2,000 mg/kg, producing plasma levels of 35 to 45 times those in humans at the recommended dose for HIV-1 infection. In a study of reproductive performance, lamivudine administered to rats at doses up to 4,000 mg/kg/day, producing plasma levels 47 to 70 times those in humans, revealed no evidence of impaired fertility and no effect on the survival, growth, and development to weaning of the offspring.

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of EPIVIR (lamivudine) in pregnant women. Animal reproduction studies in rats and rabbits revealed no evidence of teratogenicity. Increased early embryolethality occurred in rabbits at exposure levels similar to those in humans. EPIVIR (lamivudine) should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Lamivudine pharmacokinetics were studied in pregnant women during 2 clinical studies conducted in South Africa. The study assessed pharmacokinetics in: 16 women at 36 weeks gestation using 150 mg lamivudine twice daily with zidovudine, 10 women at 38 weeks gestation using 150 mg lamivudine twice daily with zidovudine, and 10 women at 38 weeks gestation using lamivudine 300 mg twice daily without other antiretrovirals. These studies were not designed or powered to provide efficacy information. Lamivudine pharmacokinetics in the pregnant women were similar to those seen in non-pregnant adults and in postpartum women. Lamivudine concentrations were generally similar in maternal, neonatal, and umbilical cord serum samples. In a subset of subjects, lamivudine amniotic fluid specimens were collected following natural rupture of membranes. Amniotic fluid concentrations of lamivudine were typically 2 times greater than maternal serum levels and ranged from 1.2 to 2.5 mcg/mL (150 mg twice daily) and 2.1 to 5.2 mcg/mL (300 mg twice daily). It is not known whether risks of adverse events associated with lamivudine are altered in pregnant women compared with other HIV-1-infected patients.

Animal reproduction studies performed at oral doses up to 130 and 60 times the adult dose in ratsand rabbits, respectively, revealed no evidence of teratogenicity due to lamivudine. Increased early embryolethality occurred in rabbits at exposure levels similar to those in humans. However, there was no indication of this effect in rats at exposure levels up to 35 times those in humans. Based on animal studies, lamivudine crosses the placenta and is transferred to the fetus. [see Nonclinical Toxicology].

Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry: To monitor maternal-fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to lamivudine, a Pregnancy Registry has been established. Physicians are encouraged to register patients by calling 1-800-258-4263.

Nursing Mothers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that HIV-1-infected mothers in the United States not breastfeed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV-1 infection. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants and HIV-1 transmission, mothers should be instructed not to breastfeed if they are receiving lamivudine.

Lamivudine is excreted into human milk. Samples of breast milk obtained from 20 mothers receiving lamivudine monotherapy (300 mg twice daily) or combination therapy (150 mg lamivudine twice daily and 300 mg zidovudine twice daily) had measurable concentrations of lamivudine.

Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of twice-daily EPIVIR (lamivudine) in combination with other antiretroviral agents have been established in pediatric patients 3 months of age and older [see ADVERSE REACTIONS, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, Clinical Studies].

Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of EPIVIR (lamivudine) did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy. In particular, because lamivudine is substantially excreted by the kidney and elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, renal function should be monitored and dosage adjustments should be made accordingly [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Patients With Impaired Renal Function

Reduction of the dosage of EPIVIR (lamivudine) is recommended for; patients with impaired renal function [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

OVERDOSE

There is no known antidote for EPIVIR (lamivudine) . One case of an adult ingesting 6 g of EPIVIR (lamivudine) was reported; there were no clinical signs or symptoms noted and hematologic tests remained normal. Two cases of pediatric overdose were reported in ACTG300. One case involved a single dose of 7 mg/kg of EPIVIR (lamivudine) ; the second case involved use of 5 mg/kg of EPIVIR (lamivudine) twice daily for 30 days. There were no clinical signs or symptoms noted in either case. Because a negligible amount of lamivudine was removed via (4-hour) hemodialysis, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, and automated peritoneal dialysis, it is not known if continuous hemodialysis would provide clinical benefit in a lamivudine overdose event. If overdose occurs, the patient should be monitored, and standard supportive treatment applied as required.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution are contraindicated in patients with previously demonstrated clinically significant hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any of the components of the products.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY

Mechanism of Action

Lamivudine is an antiviral agent [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Pharmacokinetics

Pharmacokinetics in Adults: The pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine have been - studiedin-asymptomatic,-HIV-4-infected-adult patients after administration of single intravenous (IV) doses ranging from 0.25 to 8 mg/kg, as well as single and multiple (twice-daily regimen) oral doses ranging from 0.25 to 10 mg/kg.

The pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine have also been studied as single and multiple oral doses ranging from 5 mg to 600 mg/day administered to HBV-infected patients.

The steady-state pharmacokinetic properties of the EPIVIR (lamivudine) 300-mg tablet once daily for 7 days compared with the EPIVIR (lamivudine) 150-mg tablet twice daily for 7 days were assessed in a crossover study in 60 healthy volunteers. EPIVIR 300 mg once daily resulted in lamivudine exposures that were similar to EPIVIR (lamivudine) 150 mg twice daily with respect to plasma AUC24,SS; however, CmaxSS was 66% higher and the trough value was 53% lower compared with the 150-mg twice-daily regimen. Intracellular lamivudine triphosphate exposures in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were also similar with respect to AUC24,SS and Cmax24,ss; however, trough values were lower compared with the 150-mg twice-daily regimen. Inter-subject variability was greater for intracellular lamivudine triphosphate concentrations versus lamivudine plasma trough concentrations. The clinical significance of observed differences for both plasma lamivudine concentrations and intracellular lamivudine triphosphate concentrations is not known.

Absorption and Bioavailability: Lamivudine was rapidly absorbed after oral administration in HIV-1-infected patients. Absolute bioavailability in 12 adult patients was 86% ± 16% (mean ± SD) for the 150-mg tablet and 87% ± 13% for the oral solution. After oral administration of 2 mg/kg twice a day to 9 adults with HIV-1, the peak serum lamivudine concentration (Cmax) was 1.5 ± 0.5 mcg/mL (mean ± SD). The area under the plasma concentration versus time curve (AUC) and Cmax increased in proportion to oral dose over the range from 0.25 to 10 mg/kg.

The accumulation ratio of lamivudine in HIV-1-positive asymptomatic adults with normal renal function was 1.50 following 15 days of oral administration of 2 mg/kg twice daily.

Effects of Food on Oral Absorption: An investigational 25-mg dosage form of lamivudine was administered orally to 12 asymptomatic, HIV-1-infected patients on 2 occasions, once in the fasted state and once with food (1,099 kcal; 75 grams fat, 34 grams protein, 72 grams carbohydrate). Absorption of lamivudine was slower in the fed state (Tmax: 3.2 ± 1.3 hours) compared with the fasted state (Tmax: 0.9 ± 0.3 hours); Cmax in the fed state was 40% ± 23% (mean ± SD) lower than in the fasted state. There was no significant difference in systemic exposure (AUC∞) in the fed and fasted states; therefore, EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution may be administered with or without food.

Distribution: The apparent volume of distribution after IV administration of lamivudine to 20 patients was 1.3 ± 0.4 L/kg, suggesting that lamivudine distributes into extravascular spaces. Volume of distribution was independent of dose and did not correlate with body weight.

Binding of lamivudine to human plasma proteins is low ( < 36%). In vitro studies showed that over the concentration range of 0.1 to 100 mcg/mL, the amount of lamivudine associated with erythrocytes ranged from 53% to 57% and was independent of concentration.

Metabolism: Metabolism of lamivudine is a minor routeofelirhination. Inman, the only known metabolite of lamivudine is the trans-sulfoxide metabolite. Within 12 hours after a single oral dose of lamivudine in 6 HIV-1-infected adults, 5.2% ± 1.4% (mean ± SD) of the dose was excreted as the trans-sulfoxide metabolite in the urine. Serum concentrations of this metabolite have not been determined.

Elimination: The majority of lamivudine is eliminated unchanged in urine by active organic cationic secretion. In 9 healthy subjects given a single 300-mg oral dose of lamivudine, renal clearance was 199.7 ± 56.9 mL/min (mean ± SD). In 20 HIV-1-infected patients given a single IV dose, renal clearance was 280.4 ± 75.2 mL/min (mean ± SD), representing 71% ± 16% (mean + SD) of total clearance of lamivudine.

In most single-dose studies in HIV-1-infected patients, HBV-infected patients, or healthy subjects with serum sampling for 24 hours after dosing, the observed mean elimination half-life (ti/2) ranged from 5 to 7 hours. In HIV-1 -infected patients, total clearance was 398.5 ± 69.1 mL/min (mean ± SD). Oral clearance and elimination half-life were independent of dose and body weight over an oral dosing range from 0.25 to 10 mg/kg.

Special Populations: Renal Impairment: The pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine have been determined in a small group of HIV-1-infected adults with impaired renal function (Table 7).

Table 7: Pharmacokinetic Parameters (Mean ± SD) After a Single 300-mg Oral Dose of Lamivudine in 3 Groups of Adults With Varying Degrees of Renal Function

Parameter Creatinine Clearance Criterion
(Number of Subjects)
> 60 mL/min
(n = 6)
10-30 mL/min
(n = 4)
< 10 mL/min
(n = 6)
Creatinine clearance (mL/min) 111 ± 14 28 ±8 6±2
Cmax (mcg/mL) 2.6 ±0.5 3.6 ±0.8 5.8 ±1.2
AUC7infin;(mcg•hr/mL) 11.0 + 1.7 48.0 ±19 157 ±74
Cl/F (mL/min) 464 ± 76 114 ± 34 36 ± 11

Exposure (AUC∞), Cmax) and half-life increased with diminishing renal function (as expressed by creatinine clearance). Apparent total oral clearance (Cl/F) of lamivudine decreased as creatinine clearance decreased. Tmax was not significantly affected by renal function. Based on these observations, it is recommended that the dosage of lamivudine be modified in patients with renal impairment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Based on a study in otherwise healthy subjects with impaired renal function, hemodialysis increased lamivudine clearance from a mean of 64 to 88 mL/min; however, the length of time of hemodialysis (4 hours) was insufficient to significantly alter mean lamivudine exposure after a single-dose administration. Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and automated peritoneal dialysis have negligible effects on lamivudine clearance. Therefore, it is "re"c"ommeiTdeli;'follo^n^corre^tioii of dose for creatinine clearahceTthat no additional dose modification be made after routine hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

It is not known whether lamivudine can be removed by continuous (24-hour) hemodialysis.

The effects of renal impairment on lamivudine pharmacokinetics in pediatric patients are not known.

Hepatic Impairment: The pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine have been determined in adults with impaired hepatic function. Pharmacokinetic parameters were not altered by diminishing hepatic function; therefore, no dose adjustment for lamivudine is required for patients with impaired hepatic function. Safety and efficacy of lamivudine have not been established in the presence of decompensated liver disease.

Pediatric Patients: In Study NUCA2002, pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine were assessed in a subset of 57 HIV-1-infected pediatric patie'nts !(age range: 4.8 months to 16 years, weight range: 5 to 66 kg) after oral and IV administration of 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 20 mg/kg/day. In the 9 infants and children (range: 5 months to 12 years of age) receiving oral solution 4 mg/kg twice daily (the usual recommended pediatric dose), absolute bioavailability was 66% ± 26% (mean ± SD), which was less than the 86% ± 16% (mean ± SD) observed in adults. The mechanism for the diminished absolute bioavailability of lamivudine in infants and children is unknown.

Systemic clearance decreased with increasing age in pediatric patients, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Systemic Clearance (L/hr«kg) of Lamivudine in Relation to Age

Systemic Clearance (L/hr«kg) of Lamivudine in Relation to Age - illustration

After oral administration of lamivudine 4 mg/kg twice daily to 11 pediatric patients ranging from 4 months to 14 years of age, Cmax was 1.1 ± 0.6 mcg/mL and half-life was 2.0 ± 0.6 hours. (In adults with similar blood sampling, the half-life was 3.7 ± 1 hours.) Total exposure to lamivudine, as reflected by mean AUC values, was comparable between pediatric patients receiving an 8-mg/kg/day dose and adults receiving a 4-mg/kg/day dose.

Distribution of lamivudine into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was assessed in 38 pediatric patients after multiple oral dosing with lamivudine. CSF samples were collected between 2 and 4 hours postdose. At the dose of 8 mg/kg/day, CSF lamivudine concentrations in 8 patients ranged from 5.6% to 30.9% (mean + SD of 14.2% ± 7.9%) of the concentration in a simultaneous serum sample, with CSF lamivudine concentrations ranging from 0.04 to 0.3 mcg/mL.

Limited, uncontrolled pharmacokinetic and safety data are available from administration of lamivudine (and zidovudine) to 36 infants up to 1 week of age in 2 studies in South Africa. In these studies, lamivudine clearance was substantially reduced in 1-week-old neonates relative to pediatric patients ( > 3 months of age) studied previously. There is insufficient information to establish the time course of changes in clearance between the immediate neonatal period and the age-ranges > 3 months old [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Geriatric Patients: The pharmacokinetics of lamivudine after administration of EPIVIR (lamivudine) to patients over 65 years of age have not been studied [see Use in Specific Populations].

Gender: There are no significant gender differences in lamivudine pharmacokinetics. Race: There are no significant racial differences in lamivudine pharmacokinetics.

Drug Interactions: Interferon Alfa: There was no significant pharmacokinetic interaction between lamivudine and interferon alfa in a study of 19 healthy male subjects [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Ribavirin: In vitro data indicate ribavirin reduces phosphorylation of lamivudine, stavudine, and zidovudine. However, no pharmacokinetic (e.g., plasma concentrations or intracellular triphosphorylated active metabolite concentrations) or pharmacodynamic (e.g., loss of HIV-1/HCV virologic suppression) interaction was observed when ribavirin and lamivudine (n = 18), stavudine (n = 10), or zidovudine (n = 6) were coadministered as part of a multi-drug regimen to HIV-1/HCV co-infected patients [see Warnings and PRECAUTIONS].

Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole: Lamivudine and TMP/SMX were coadministered to 14 HIV-1-positive patients in a single-center, open-label, randomized, crossover study. Each patient received treatment with a single 300-mg dose of lamivudine and TMP 160 mg/SMX 800 mg once: a day for 5 days with concomitant administration of lamivudine 300 mg"with~the fifth dose in a crossover design. Coadministration of TMP/SMX with lamivudine resulted in an increase of 43% ± 23% (mean ± SD) in lamivudine AUCoo, a decrease of 29% ± 13% in lamivudine oral clearance, and a decrease of 30% ± 36% in lamivudine renal clearance. The pharmacokinetic properties of TMP and SMX were not altered by coadministration with lamivudine [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Zidovudine: No clinically significant alterations in lamivudine or zidovudine pharmacokinetics were observed in 12 asymptomatic HIV-1-infected adult patients given a single dose of zidovudine (200 mg) in combination with multiple doses of lamivudine (300 mg q 12 hr) [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].

Microbiology

Mechanism of Action: Intracellularly, lamivudine is phosphorylated to its active 5'-triphosphate metabolite, lamivudine triphosphate (3TC-TP). The principal mode of action of 3TC-TP is the inhibition of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) via DNA chain termination after incorporation of the nucleotide analogue into viral DNA. 3TC-TP is a weak inhibitor of mammalian DNA polymerases α, β, and γ.

Antiviral Activity: The antiviral activity of lamivudine against HIV-1 was assessed in a number of cell lines (including monocytes and fresh human peripheral blood lymphocytes) using standard susceptibility assays. EC50 values (50% effective concentrations) were in the range of 0.003 to 15 µM (1 µM = 0.23 mcg/mL). HIV-1 from therapy-naive subjects with no amino acid substitutions associated with resistance gave median EC50 values of 0.429 µM (range: 0.200 to 2.007 uM) from Virco (n = 92 baseline samples from COLA40263) and 2.35 µM (1.37 to 3.68 µM) from Monogram Biosciences (n = 135 baseline samples from ESS30009). The EC50 values of lamivudine against different HIV-1 clades (A-G) ranged from 0.001 to 0.120 µM, and against HIV-2 isolates from 0.003 to 0.120 uM in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Ribavirin (50 µM) decreased the anti-HIV-1 activity of lamivudine by 3.5 fold in MT-4 cells. In HIV- 1-infected MT-4 cells, lamivudine in combination with zidovudine at various ratios exhibited synergistic antiretroviral activity. Please see the full prescribing information for EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV for information regarding the inhibitory activity of lamivudine against HBV.

Resistance: Lamivudine-resistant variants of HIV-1 have been selected in cell culture. Genotypic analysis showed that the resistance was due to a specific amino acid substitution in the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase at codon 184 changing the methionine to either isoleucine or valine (Ml 84V/I).

HIV-1 strains resistant to both lamivudine and zidovudine have been isolated from patients. Susceptibility of clinical isolates to lamivudine and'zidovudine was monitored in controlled clinical trials. In patients receiving lamivudine monotherapy or combination therapy with lamivudine plus zidovudine, HIV-1 isolates from most patients became phenotypically and genotypically resistant to lamivudine within 12 weeks. In some patients harboring zidovudine-resistant virus at baseline, phenotypic sensitivity to zidovudine was restored by 12 weeks of treatment with lamivudine and zidovudine. Combination therapy with lamivudine plus zidovudine delayed the emergence of mutations conferring resistance to zidovudine.

Lamivudine-resistant HBV isolates develop substitutions (rtM204V/I) in the YMDD motif of the catalytic domain of the viral reverse transcriptase. rtM204V/I substitutions are frequently accompanied by other substitutions (rtV173L, rtL180M) which enhance the level of lamivudine resistance or act as compensatory mutations improving replication efficiency. Other substitutions detected in lamivudine-resistant HBV isolates include: rtL80I and rtA181T. Similar FIBV mutants have been reported in HIV-1 -infected patients who received lamivudine-containing antiretroviral regimens in the presence of concurrent infection with hepatitis B virus [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Cross-Resistance: Lamivudine-resistant HIV-1 mutants were cross-resistant to didanosine (ddl) and zalcitabine (ddC). In some patients treated with zidovudine plus didanosine or zalcitabine, isolates resistant to multiple reverse transcriptase1 Inhibitors, including lamivudine, have emerged.

Genotypic and Phenotypic Analysis of On-Therapy HIV-1 Isolates From Patients With Viroloqic Failure: Study EPV20001: Fifty-three of 554 (10%) patients enrolled in EPV20001 were identified as virological failures (plasma HIV-1 RNA level ≥ 400 copies/mL) by Week 48. Twenty-eight patients were randomized to the lamivudine once-daily treatment group and 25 to the lamivudine twice-daily treatment group. The median baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA levels of patients in the lamivudine once-daily group and lamivudine twice-daily group were 4.9 log10 copies/mL and 4.6 log10 copies/mL, respectively.

Genotypic analysis of on-therapy isolates from 22 patients identified as virologic failures in the lamivudine once-daily group showed that isolates from 0/22 patients contained treatment-emergent amino acid substitutions associated with zidovudine resistance (M41L, D67N, K70R, L210W, T215Y/F, or K219Q/E), isolates from 10/22 patients contained treatment-emergent amino acid substitutions associated with efavirenz resistance (LI001, K101E, K103N, V108I, or Y181C), and isolates from 8/22 patients contained a treatment-emergent lamivudine resistance-associated substitution (Ml841 or Ml 84V).

Genotypic analysis of on-therapy isolates from patients (n = 22) in the lamivudine twice-daily treatment group showed that isolates from 1/22 patients contained treatment-emergent zidovudine resistance substitutions, isolates from 7/22 contained treatment-emergent efavirenz resistance substitutions, and isolates from 5/22 contained treatment-emergent lamivudine resistance substitutions.

Phenotypic analysis of baseline-matched on-therapy HIV-1 isolates from patients (n = 13) receiving lamivudine once daily showed that isolates from 12/13 patients were susceptible to zidovudine; isolates from 8/13 patients exhibited a 25- to 295-fold decrease in susceptibility to efavirenz, and isolates from 7/13 patients showed an 85- to 299-fold decrease in susceptibility to lamivudine.

Phenotypic analysis of baseline-matched on-therapy HIV-1 isolates from patients (n = 13) receiving lamivudine twice daily showed that isolates from all 13 patients were susceptible to zidovudine; isolates from 3/13 patients exhibited a 21- to 342-fold decrease in susceptibility to efavirenz, and isolates''from 4/13 patients exhibited a 29- to 159-fold decrease in susceptibility to lamivudine.

Study EPV40001: Fifty patients received zidovudine 300 mg twice daily plus abacavir 300 mg twice daily plus lamivudine 300 mg once daily and 50 patients received zidovudine 300 mg plus abacavir 300 mg plus lamivudine 150 mg all twice daily. The median baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA levels for patients in the 2 groups were 4.79 logio copies/mL and 4.83 logiocopies/mL, respectively. Fourteen of 50 patients in the lamivudine once-daily treatment group and 9 of 50 patients in the lamivudine twice-daily group were identified as virologic failures.

Genotypic analysis of on-therapy HIV-1 isolates from patients (n = 9) in the lamivudine once-daily treatment group showed that isolates from 6 patients had an abacavir and/or lamivudine resistance-associated substitution Ml 84V alone. On-therapy isolates from patients (n = 6) receiving lamivudine twice daily showed that isolates from 2 patients had Ml 84V alone, and isolates from 2 patients harbored the M184Vsubstitution in combination with zidovudine resistance-associated amino acid substitutions.

Phenotypic analysis of on-therapy isolates from patients (n = 6) receiving lamivudine once daily showed that HIV-1 isolates from 4 patients exhibited a 32- to 53-fold decrease in susceptibility to lamivudine. HIV-1 isolates from these 6 patients'were susceptible to zidovudine,

Phenotypic analysis of on-therapy isolates from patients (n = 4) receiving lamivudine twice daily showed that HIV-1 isolates from 1 patient exhibited a 45-fold decrease in susceptibility to lamivudine and a 4.5-fold decrease in susceptibility to zidovudine.

Reproductive Toxicology Studies

Reproduction studies have been performed in rats and rabbits at orally administered doses up to 4,000 mg/kg/day and 1,000 mg/kg/day, respectively, producing plasma levels up to approximately 35 times that for the adult HIV dose. No evidence of teratogenicity due to lamivudine was observed. Evidence of early embryolethality was seen in the rabbit at exposure levels similar to those observed in humans, but there was no indication of this effect in the rat at exposure levels up to 35 times those in humans. Studies in pregnant rats and rabbits showed that lamivudine is transferred to the fetus through the placenta.

Clinical Studies

The use of EPIVIR (lamivudine) is based on the results of clinical studies in HIV-1-infected patients in combination regimens with other antiretroviral agents. Information from trials with clinical endpoints or a combination of CD4+ cell counts and HIV-1 RNA measurements is included below as documentation of the contribution of lamivudine to a combination regimen in controlled trials.

Adults

Clinical Endpoint Study: NUCB3007 (CAESAR) was a multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing continued current therapy (zidovudine alone [62% of patients] or zidovudine with didanosine or zalcitabine [38% of patients]) to the addition of EPIVIR (lamivudine) or EPIVIR (lamivudine) plus an investigational non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), randomized 1:2:1. A total of 1,816 HIV-1-infected adults with 25 to 250 CD4+ cells/mm3 (median = 122 cells/mm3) at baseline were enrolled: median age was 36 years, 87% were male, 84% were nucleoside-experienced, and 16% were therapy-naive. The median duration on study was 12 months. Results are summarized in Table 8.

Table 8: Number of Patients (%) With at Least One HIV-1 Disease Progression Event or Death.

Endpoint Current Therapy
(n = 460)
EPIVIR plus
Current Therapy
(n = 896)
EPIVIR plus an
NNRTI* plus Current
Therapy
(n = 460)
HIV-1 progression or death 90 (19.6%) 86 (9.6%) 41 (8.9%)
Death 27 (5.9%) 23 (2.6%) 14 (3.0%)
* An investigational non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor not approved in the United States.

Surrogate Endpoint Studies: Dual Nucleoside Analogue Studies: Principal clinical trials in the initial development of lamivudine compared lamivudine/zidovudine combinations with zidovudine monotherapy or with zidovudine plus zalcitabine. These studies demonstrated the antiviral effect of lamivudine in a 2-drug combination. More recent uses of lamivudine in treatment of HIV-1 infection incorporate it into multiple-drug regimens containing at least 3 antiretroviral drugs for enhanced viral suppression.

Dose Regimen Comparison Surrogate Endpoint Studies in Therapy-Naive Adults: EPV20001 was a multi-center, double-blind, controlled study in which patients were randomized 1:1 to receive EPIVIR (lamivudine) 300 mg once daily or EPIVIR (lamivudine) 150 mg twice daily, in combination with zidovudine 300 mg twice daily and efavirenz 600 mg once daily. A total of 554 antiretroviral treatment-naive HIV-1-infected adults enrolled: male (79%), Caucasian (50%), median age of 35 years, baseline CD4+ cell counts of 69 to 1,089 cells/mm3 (median = 362 cells/mm3), and median baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA of 4.66 log10 copies/mL. Outcomes of treatment through 48 weeks are summarized in Figure 2 and Table 9.

Figure 2. Virologic Response Through Week 48, EPVZQOOl'(lntent-to-Treat)

Virologic Response Through Week 48, EPVZQOOl'&dagger;(lntent-to-Treat) - illustration

* Roche AMPLICOR HIV-1 MONITOR.
Responders at each visit are patients who had achieved and maintained HIV-1 RNA < 400 copies/mL without discontinuation by that visit.

Tabic 9: Outcomes of Randomized Treatment Through 48 Weeks (Intent-to-Treat)

Outcome EPIVIR 300 mg
Once Daily
plus RETROVIR
plus Efavirenz
(n = 278)
EPIVIR 150 mg
Twice Daily
plus RETROVIR
plus Efavirenz
(n = 276)
Responder* 67% 65%
Virologic failure 8% 8%
Discontinued due to clinical progression < 1% 0%
Discontinued due to adverse events 6% 12%
Discontinued due to other reasons 18% 14%
* Achieved confirmed plasma HIV-1 RNA < 400 copies/mL and maintained through 48 weeks.
Achieved suppression but rebounded by Week 48, discontinued due to virologic failure,insufficient viral response according to the investigator, or never suppressed through Week 48.
Includes consent withdrawn, lost to followup, protocol violation, data outside the study-definedschedule, and randomized but never initiated treatment.

The proportions of patients with HIV-1 RNA < 50 copies/mL (via Roche Ultrasensitive assay) through Week 48 were 61% for patients receiving EPIVIR (lamivudine) 300 mg once daily and 63% for patients receiving EPIVIR (lamivudine) 150 mg twice daily. Median increases in CD4+ cell counts were 144 cells/mm3 at Week 48 in patients receiving EPIVIR (lamivudine) 300 mg once daily and 146 cells/mm3 for patients receiving EPIVIR (lamivudine) 150 mg twice daily.

A small, randomized, open-label pilot study, EPV40001, was conducted in Thailand. A total of 159 treatment-naive adult patients (male 32%, Asian 100%, median age 30 years, baseline median CD4+ cell count 380 cells/mm3, median plasma HIV-1 RNA 4.8 logio copies/mL) were enrolled. Two of the treatment arms in this study provided a comparison between lamivudine 300 mg once daily (n = 54) and lamivudine 150 mg twice daily (n = 52), each in combination with zidovudine 300 mg twice daily and abacavir 300 mg twice daily. In intent-to-treat analyses of 48-week data, the proportions of patients with HIV-1 RNA below 400 copies/mL were 61% (33/54) in the group randomized to once-daily lamivudine and 75%o (39/52) in the group randomized to receive all 3 drugs twice daily; the proportions with HIV-1 RNA below 50 copies/mL were 54% (29/54) in the once-daily lamivudine group and 67% (35/52) in the all-twice-daily group; and the median increases in CD4+ cell counts were 166 cells/mm3 in the once-daily lamivudine group and 216 cells/mm3 in the all-twice-daily group.

Pediatric Patients

Clinical Endpoint Study: ACTG300 was a multi-center, randomized, double-blind study that provided for comparison of EPIVIR (lamivudine) plus RETROVIR (zidovudine) with didanosine monotherapy. A total of 471 symptomatic, HIV-1-infected therapy-naive ( ≤ 56 days of antiretroviral therapy) pediatric patients were enrolled in these 2 treatment arms. The median age was 2.7 years (range: 6 weeks to 14 years), 58% were female, and 86% were non-Caucasian. The mean baseline CD4+ cell count was 868 cells/mm3 (mean: 1,060 cells/mm3 and range: 0 to 4,650 cells/mm3 for patients ≤ 5 years of age; mean: 419 cells/mm3 and range: 0 to 1,555 cells/mm3 for patients > 5 years of age) and the mean baseline plasma HIV-1 RNA was 5.0 logiocopies/mL. The median duration on study was 10.1 months for the patients receiving EPIVIR (lamivudine) plus RETROVIR and 9.2 months for patients receiving didanosine monotherapy. Results are summarized in Table 10.

Table 10: Number of Patients (%) Reaching a Primary Clinical Endpoint (Disease Progression or Death)

Endpoint EPIVIR plus
RETROVIR
(n = 236)
Didanosine
(n = 235}
HIV-1 disease progression or death (total) 15 (6.4%) 37(15.7%)
  Physical growth failure 7(3.0%) 6 (2.6%)
  Central nervous system deterioration 4(1.7%) 12(5.1%)
  CDC Clinical Category C 2 (0.8%) 8 (3.4%)
  Death 2 (0.8%) 11 (4.7%)

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

PATIENT INFORMATION

Advice for the Patient

Information About Therapy With EPIVIR (lamivudine) : EPIVIR (lamivudine) is not a cure for HIV-1 infection and patients may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. Patients should remain under the care of a physician when using EPIVIR (lamivudine) . Patients should be advised that the use of EPIVIR (lamivudine) has not been shown to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV-1 to others through sexual contact or blood contamination.

Patients should be advised that the long-term effects of EPIVIR (lamivudine) are unknown at this time.

Patients should be advised of the importance of taking EPIVIR (lamivudine) with combination therapy on a regular dosing schedule and to avoid missing doses.

EPIVIR (lamivudine) should not be coadministered with drugs containing lamivudine or emtricitabine, including COMBIVIR (lamivudine/zidovudine) Tablets, EPZICOM (abacavir sulfate and lamivudine) Tablets, TRIZIVIR (abacavir sulfate, lamivudine, and zidovudine), ATRIPLA (efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir), EMTRIVA (emtricitabine) or TRUVADA (emtricitabine and tenofovir) [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Redistribution/Accumulation of Body Fat: Patients should be informed that redistribution or accumulation of body fat may occur in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy, including EPIVIR (lamivudine) , and that the cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Differences in Formulations of EPIVIR (lamivudine) : Patients should be advised that EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution contain a higher dose of the same active ingredient (lamivudine) as EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV Tablets and Oral Solution. If a decision is made to include lamivudine in the HIV-1 treatment regimen of a patient co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV, the formulation and dosage of lamivudine in EPIVIR (lamivudine) (not EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV) should be used [see Warnings and PRECAUTIONS].

Co-infection With HIV-1 and HBV: Patients co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV should be informed that deterioration of liver disease has occurred in some cases when treatment with lamivudine was discontinued. Patients should be advised to discuss any changes in regimen with their physician [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Risk of Pancreatitis: Parents or guardians should be advised to monitor pediatric patients for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Sucrose Content of EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution: Diabetic patients should be advised that each 15-mL dose of EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution contains 3 grams of sucrose [see DESCRIPTION].

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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PATIENT INFORMATION

Advice for the Patient

Information About Therapy With EPIVIR (lamivudine) : EPIVIR (lamivudine) is not a cure for HIV-1 infection and patients may continue to experience illnesses associated with HIV-1 infection, including opportunistic infections. Patients should remain under the care of a physician when using EPIVIR (lamivudine) . Patients should be advised that the use of EPIVIR (lamivudine) has not been shown to reduce the risk of transmission of HIV-1 to others through sexual contact or blood contamination.

Patients should be advised that the long-term effects of EPIVIR (lamivudine) are unknown at this time.

Patients should be advised of the importance of taking EPIVIR (lamivudine) with combination therapy on a regular dosing schedule and to avoid missing doses.

EPIVIR (lamivudine) should not be coadministered with drugs containing lamivudine or emtricitabine, including COMBIVIR (lamivudine/zidovudine) Tablets, EPZICOM (abacavir sulfate and lamivudine) Tablets, TRIZIVIR (abacavir sulfate, lamivudine, and zidovudine), ATRIPLA (efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir), EMTRIVA (emtricitabine) or TRUVADA (emtricitabine and tenofovir) [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Redistribution/Accumulation of Body Fat: Patients should be informed that redistribution or accumulation of body fat may occur in patients receiving antiretroviral therapy, including EPIVIR (lamivudine) , and that the cause and long-term health effects of these conditions are not known at this time [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Differences in Formulations of EPIVIR (lamivudine) : Patients should be advised that EPIVIR (lamivudine) Tablets and Oral Solution contain a higher dose of the same active ingredient (lamivudine) as EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV Tablets and Oral Solution. If a decision is made to include lamivudine in the HIV-1 treatment regimen of a patient co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV, the formulation and dosage of lamivudine in EPIVIR (lamivudine) (not EPIVIR (lamivudine) -HBV) should be used [see Warnings and PRECAUTIONS].

Co-infection With HIV-1 and HBV: Patients co-infected with HIV-1 and HBV should be informed that deterioration of liver disease has occurred in some cases when treatment with lamivudine was discontinued. Patients should be advised to discuss any changes in regimen with their physician [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Risk of Pancreatitis: Parents or guardians should be advised to monitor pediatric patients for signs and symptoms of pancreatitis [see WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS].

Sucrose Content of EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution: Diabetic patients should be advised that each 15-mL dose of EPIVIR (lamivudine) Oral Solution contains 3 grams of sucrose [see DESCRIPTION].

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/11/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Disclaimer

Epivir Consumer

IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

LAMIVUDINE - ORAL

(la-MIV-ue-deen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Epivir

WARNING: Rarely, lamivudine has caused a severe (sometimes fatal) liver and blood problem (lactic acidosis). Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of liver problems (persistent nausea, stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin) or lactic acidosis (rapid breathing, drowsiness, muscle aches).

If you have hepatitis B infection along with HIV, your hepatitis symptoms may get worse or become very serious if you stop taking lamivudine. Talk with your doctor before stopping this medication. Your doctor will perform liver function tests for several months after you stop lamivudine. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of worsening liver problems.

Different brands of this drug have different amounts of drug. Do not switch brands of this medication without first checking with your doctor. If you have HIV infection (with or without hepatitis B infection), you should be taking the higher-strength dosage. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.

USES: This drug is used with other medications to help control your HIV infection, thereby improving your quality of life. It may also lower your risk of complications from HIV (such as new infections, cancers). Lamivudine belongs to a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors-NRTI.

Lamivudine is not a cure for HIV and it does not prevent the spread of HIV to others through sexual contact or blood contamination (such as sharing used needles).

OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.

This medication may also be used to prevent HIV infection after contact with the virus.

A lower-strength lamivudine product is used for hepatitis B infection in people without HIV infection.

HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking lamivudine and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

It is very important to continue taking this medication (and other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses. Do not increase your dose, take this drug more often than prescribed, or stop taking it (or other HIV medicines) even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.

This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day.

Disclaimer

Epivir Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.

Headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, or trouble sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Some people may experience worsening of a previous medical condition (such as an old infection) as their immune systems improve, or develop new conditions because their immune systems have become overactive. This reaction may occur at any time (soon after starting HIV treatment or many months later). Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: unexplained weight loss, persistent muscle aches/weakness, joint pain, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet/arms/legs, severe tiredness, vision changes, severe/persistent headaches, signs of infection (such as fever, chills, trouble breathing, cough, non-healing skin sores), signs of an overactive thyroid (such as irritability, nervousness, heat intolerance, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, bulging eyes, unusual growth in the neck/thyroid known as a goiter), signs of a certain nerve problem known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome (such as difficulty breathing/swallowing/moving your eyes, drooping face, paralysis, slurred speech).

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as depression), stomach/back pain with nausea (pancreatitis).

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, signs of anemia (unusual tiredness, rapid heartbeat, pale/bluish skin).

Changes in body fat (such as increased fat in the upper back and stomach areas, decreased fat in the arms and legs) may occur while you are taking HIV medication. The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss the risks and benefits of therapy with your doctor, as well as the possible role of exercise to reduce this side effect.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the Epivir (lamivudine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking lamivudine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: pancreatitis, kidney problems, liver problems (such as hepatitis B or C, cirrhosis), alcohol use.

Avoid alcoholic beverages because they may increase your risk for liver problems and/or pancreatitis.

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

To decrease your risk of spreading HIV disease to others, always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Caution is advised when using this drug in children because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially the increased risk of pancreatitis.

Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, caution is advised when using this drug in older adults because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. However, it is now normal to prescribe HIV medicines for pregnant women with HIV. This has been shown to decrease the risk of giving HIV to the baby. Lamivudine may be part of that treatment. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Lamivudine passes into breast milk. Because breast milk can transmit HIV, do not breast-feed.

Disclaimer

Epivir Consumer (continued)

DRUG INTERACTIONS: The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.

To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.

Some products that may interact with this drug include: interferon, zalcitabine.

Emtricitabine is similar to lamivudine and should not be taken with this medication. Check the labels on all your HIV medicines because they may contain the same ingredients as found in this product. Taking too much of these drugs will not necessarily improve your condition, and may cause more side effects.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call the US national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222. Canadian residents should call their local poison control center directly.

NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.

Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney tests, liver tests, viral load, T-cell counts) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.

Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store the US product at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom.

Store the Canadian product between 36-86 degrees F (2-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom.

Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For enrollment information call MedicAlert at 1-800-854-1166 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).

Information last revised February 2012. Copyright(c) 2012 First Databank, Inc.

Epivir Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Epivir, Epivir HBV

Generic Name: lamivudine (Pronunciation: la MIV yoo deen)

What is lamivudine (Epivir)?

Lamivudine is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.

The Epivir brand of lamivudine is used to treat HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Lamivudine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. The Epivir-HBV brand of lamivudine is used to treat chronic hepatitis B. Epivir-HBV should not be used in people who are infected with both hepatitis B and HIV.

Lamivudine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Epivir 150 mg

elliptical, white, imprinted with GX CJ7, 150

Epivir 300 mg

diamond, gray, imprinted with GX EJ7

Epivir-HBV 100 mg

oval, yellow, imprinted with GX CG5

What are the possible side effects of lamivudine (Epivir)?

Stop using lamivudine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:

  • liver damage - nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • lactic acidosis - muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, nausea with vomiting, and fast or uneven heart rate;
  • pancreatitis - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • peripheral neuropathy - numbness, tingling, or pain in your hands or feet;
  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness, pale skin;
  • white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms; or
  • any other signs of new infection.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • cough;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • joint or muscle pain;
  • dizziness, headache, tired feeling; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Epivir (lamivudine) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects »

What is the most important information I should know about lamivudine (Epivir)?

Lamivudine should not be taken together with Combivir, a medication that contains a combination of lamivudine and zidovudine.

Lamivudine may cause lactic acidosis (the build up of lactic acid in the body). Symptoms can start slowly and gradually get worse: unusual muscle pain and weakness, trouble breathing, fast or uneven heart rate, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and numbness or cold feeling in your arms or legs. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms, even if they are only mild.

Lamivudine can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver or pancreas. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms while taking lamivudine: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, fast heart rate, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Before taking lamivudine, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, liver disease, a history of pancreatitis, or if you have used a medicine similar to lamivudine in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), stavudine (Zerit), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), or zidovudine (Retrovir).

If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking lamivudine, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function on a regular basis for several months after you stop using this medication. Do not miss any scheduled visits.

Epivir tablets and liquid contain a higher dose of lamivudine than Epivir-HBV. Epivir is for treating HIV and Epivir-HBV is for treating hepatitis B. Each time you get a refill of this medication, be sure you have received the correct brand to treat your condition.

Side Effects Centers

Epivir Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lamivudine (Epivir)?

You should not take lamivudine if you are also taking Combivir (lamivudine/zidovudine), or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine containing lamivudine, including Combivir, Epzicom, or Trizivir.

Before taking lamivudine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease (including hepatitis B);
  • a history of pancreatitis; or
  • if you have used a medicine similar to lamivudine in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), stavudine (Zerit), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), or zidovudine (Retrovir).

If you have any of the conditions listed above, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

Lamivudine may cause lactic acidosis (the build up of lactic acid in the body). Lactic acidosis symptoms can start slowly and gradually get worse. Symptoms include unusual muscle pain and weakness, trouble breathing, fast or uneven heart rate, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and numbness or cold feeling in your arms or legs. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms, even if they are only mild. Early signs of lactic acidosis generally get worse over time and this condition can be fatal.

Lamivudine can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver or pancreas. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms while taking lamivudine: severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, fast heart rate, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. HIV can be passed to the baby if the mother is not properly treated during pregnancy. Lamivudine may also be more likely to cause pancreatitis in a pregnant woman. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection while you are pregnant.

Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry when you start using lamivudine. The purpose of this registry is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and delivery to evaluate whether lamivudine had any effect on the baby.

You should not breast-feed while you are using lamivudine. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk.

If you have diabetes, you should know that the liquid forms of lamivudine contain 3 to 4 grams of sucrose (sugar) per dose.

How should I take lamivudine (Epivir)?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Lamivudine can be taken with or without food.

You may need to break a lamivudine tablet in half when giving this medication to a child. Call your doctor if the child has any trouble swallowing the tablet.

Measure the liquid form of lamivudine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.

Epivir tablets and liquid contain a higher dose of lamivudine than Epivir-HBV. Epivir is for treating HIV and Epivir-HBV is for treating hepatitis B. Each time you get a refill of this medication, be sure you have received the correct brand to treat your condition.

If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function at regular visits for several months after you stop using lamivudine. Do not miss any scheduled visits.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of different drugs. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

You may keep the oral solution (liquid) in the refrigerator but do not let it freeze.

Side Effects Centers

Epivir Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Epivir)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Epivir)?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a lamivudine overdose are not known.

What should I avoid while taking lamivudine (Epivir)?

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking lamivudine. Alcohol may increase the risk of damage to the pancreas and/or liver.

Taking lamivudine will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people through unprotected sex or sharing of needles. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex, such as using a condom and spermicide. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

What other drugs will affect lamivudine (Epivir)?

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • interferon-alfa (Roferon, Intron, Rebetron);
  • trimethoprim (Bactrim, Proloprim, Septra, Trimpex); or
  • ribavirin (Rebetol, Ribasphere, Copegus Virazole).

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with lamivudine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about lamivudine.


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.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.08. Revision date: 12/15/2010.

Your use of the content provided in this service indicates that you have read,understood and agree to the End-User License Agreement,which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

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Side Effects Centers

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