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.
Kidneys: People with kidney disease may need a different dose of the medication. Be sure you tell your doctor if you have a history of kidney disease. Let your doctor know about all the medications you are taking because some medications can affect the kidneys.
Laboratory tests: Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your response to this medication.
Lactic acidosis: If you experience symptoms of lactic acidosis, contact your doctor immediately. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include severe tiredness or weakness, unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, feeling cold (especially in the arms and legs), dizziness or lightheadedness, and fast or irregular heartbeat.
Liver problems: This medication can cause liver problems. Your doctor may monitor your liver function while you are taking this medication, especially if you have risk factors for liver problems. If you experience symptoms of liver problems (e.g., abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, feeling unwell, fever, itching, yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine), contact your doctor immediately.
Muscle problems: Rarely, telbivudine may lead to a serious muscle problem. Contact your doctor if you experience muscle pain, muscle tenderness, or muscle weakness.
Stopping the medication: If you stop the 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: It is not known if telbivudine 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.
Seniors: People over the age of 65 years may have an increased risk of developing side effects due to decreases in kidney function.