Before you begin taking a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should take this medication.
Hepatitis B transmission: The hepatitis B infection can still be transmitted to other people through blood contamination or sexual contact while you are taking this medication. Continue to take appropriate precautions to prevent the transmission of hepatitis B throughout your treatment with adefovir.
HIV and hepatitis B co-infections: If you get or have HIV infection and are not taking medication to treat HIV, adefovir may increase the chance that your HIV infection will not respond to usual treatment. Therefore, it is important to be tested for HIV before starting treatment with adefovir and whenever there is a risk of HIV exposure during treatment.
Kidney problems: This medication may cause kidney problems, especially for people who have or are at risk of developing reduced kidney function (e.g., taking other medications that can cause kidney problems, high blood pressure, diabetes). Your doctor will monitor your kidney function while you are taking this medication. If you have reduced kidney function, you may require longer periods of time between doses.
Lactic acidosis and enlarged liver: Adefovir can cause a condition called lactic acidosis (buildup of lactic acid) together with an enlarged liver. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting
- dark yellow or brown urine
- difficulty breathing
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- feeling cold, especially in the arms and legs
- loss of appetite
- pale stools
- unusual muscle pain
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
Your doctor will periodically monitor you and perform laboratory tests to check your liver function.
Stopping the medication: People with hepatitis may experience a worsening of their condition usually within 12 weeks of stopping this medication. If you and your doctor decide that you should stop taking adefovir, you will need to have regular blood tests to check liver function and hepatitis B virus levels.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be taken during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if adefovir passes into breast milk. Breast-feeding is not recommended while taking this medication.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of this medication have not been established for children.