Before you begin using 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 use this medication
Diabetes: An adult dose of the oral solution of lamivudine 100 mg (20 mL) contains 4 g of sucrose. This may affect your control of blood glucose levels if you have diabetes.
Hepatitis B transmission: Treatment with lamivudine has not been proven to reduce the risk of passing on hepatitis B to other people through sexual contact and blood transfer. You should continue to take measures to prevent giving hepatitis B to other people (e.g., using condoms) while taking this medication.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): Treatment of hepatitis B with lamivudine requires lower doses than treatment for HIV infection. If you are taking lamivudine for hepatitis B and later learn that you have HIV, tell your doctor immediately as the lower dose of lamivudine used for treating hepatitis B is not effective against HIV infection.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. People with reduced kidney function may need a lower dose of the medication. If you have kidney disease or decreased kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Lactic acidosis and enlarged liver: Lamivudine can cause a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis (build-up of lactic acid in the blood) together with an enlarged liver. This tends to occur more often in women, especially if they are overweight. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- abdominal pain, swelling, or bloating
- feeling unwell
- shortness of breath
- weight loss
Your doctor will monitor your liver function periodically by ordering laboratory tests.
Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas): Lamivudine may cause or worsen pancreatitis. Although this is more likely to happen with children taking a higher dose as required to treat HIV, if you have a history of or are at risk for developing pancreatitis, you should be closely monitored by your doctor while taking this medication. If you develop signs of pancreatitis (e.g., upper left abdominal pain, back pain, nausea, fever, chills, rapid heartbeat, swollen abdomen), contact your doctor.
Stopping the medication: If you stop taking this medication, your hepatitis B infection could get worse. Take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and do not stop taking the medication without checking with your doctor first.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: Lamivudine passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Breast-feeding is not recommended for women taking this medication.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under 16 years of age or those who are also infected with Delta hepatitis.