Generic Name: lamivudine
Approval Status: Approved
Generic Version Available: No
FDA-approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection in adults and children at least 2 years old with evidence of hepatitis B viral replication and active liver inflammation or damage.
- Epivir-HBV was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use by adults with chronic hepatitis B in 1995.
- In clinical studies, 55 to 56 percent of participants showed improved liver biopsy results after 52 weeks of therapy.
Age 18 years and older: 100 mg once daily, with or without food. For those with decompensated liver disease: 1 mg once daily. Dosage adjustment is recommended for people with kidney disease.
Pediatric Dose: Children 2 to 17 years: 3 mg per kg once daily, up to 100 mg once daily in oral solution for children requiring less than 100 mg daily. Take with or without food
Dosing Info: Treatment length is indefinite and depends on clinical outcomes. Do not change your dose or stop taking Epivir-HBV without talking to your medical provider.
- The most common side effects are ear, nose and throat infections, sore throat and diarrhea.
- Epivir-HBV may cause severe liver problems or a serious condition called lactic acidosis (buildup of acid in the blood).
- Risk of HIV-1 resistance in people with unknown HIV-1 infection or in people with untreated HIV-1 infection.
- Before taking this medication, tell your medical provider and pharmacist about any drugs, supplements and herbs you take, whether prescribed, over-the-counter or illicit.
- Epivir-HBV should not be used with other medications that contain lamivudine or with medications that contain emtricitabine.
- Additional drug-drug interactions may occur; these are listed in Epivir’s full prescribing information. Potential interactions are listed at
- HIV testing is recommended prior to taking Epivir-HBV.
- There are no adequate, well-controlled studies in pregnant women who have taken Epivir-HBV. Epivir-HBV should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
- The safety of breast feeding while taking Epivir-HBV has not been established, and it is recommended that Epivir-HBV be discontinued if breast-feeding.
- A generic version of lamivudine used to treat HIV is also available, but the drugs are not interchangeable.
Co-Pay Program Info: https://www.hepmag.com/basics/hepatitis-b-basics/paying-hepatitis-b-treatment
Patient Assistance Program Info: https://www.hepmag.com/basics/hepatitis-b-basics/paying-hepatitis-b-treatment
Last Reviewed: March 4, 2019