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Epivir is an antiviral medication used in combination with other antiviral medicines to treat patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Epivir contains the active ingredient lamivudine.

Epivir is used as part of antiretroviral combination therapy for the treatment of HIV-infected adults and children, and Epivir is indicated for the treatment of chronic Hepatitis B virus infection associated with evidence of Hepatitis B viral replication.

Use and Dosage

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.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight.

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.

For the best effect, take this medication at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.

Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Epivir: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Mild symptoms of lactic acidosis may worsen over time, and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have: unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, vomiting, irregular heart rate, dizziness, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Pancreas problems – severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, or fast heart rate
  • Liver problems – swelling around your midsection, right-sided upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Lamivudine affects your immune system, which may cause certain side effects (even weeks or months after you have taken this medicine)

Tell your doctor if you have:

  • Signs of a new infection – fever, night sweats, swollen glands, cold sores, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, or weight loss
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing, problems with balance or eye movement, or weakness or prickly feeling
  • Swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence

Common Epivir side effects may include:

  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fever, tiredness, or general ill feeling
  • Ear infection – ear pain or full feeling, trouble hearing, drainage from the ear, or fussiness in a child
  • Nose or throat infection – stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, or cough

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.


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), and alcohol use.

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

This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you dizzier. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

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

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.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. Treatment can lower the risk of passing HIV infection to your baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

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

Form and Strengths

Epivir is available in the following form and strengths:

  • Epivir Tablet:
    • 150 mg
    • 300 mg
  • Lamivudine Tablet:
    • 150 mg


What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

What to avoid?

Avoid taking other medications that contain an ingredient called sorbitol, often used as a sweetener in liquid medicines. Ask your pharmacist if you are not sure a medicine contains this ingredient.

Using lamivudine will not prevent your disease from spreading. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drugs or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.



Additional information

Brand Name:


Scientific Name:


Other Names:

Epivir, Lamivir


150mg, 300mg

Quantities Available:

30, 60, 100, 120


Film Coated Tablet, Tablet, Tablets