Lamivudine also known as 3TC, is a medicine used to treat viral infections.
It is used to treat long-term hepatitis B virus infection of the liver.
This medicine is also used together with other medicines to treat AIDS (HIV).
Lamivudine reduces the amount of virus in your body and may help to slow down the disease progression of hepatitis B or AIDS.
Take Lamivudine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Try to take it at the same time each day.
Lamivudine is available as tablets and oral solution.
If you are taking oral solution, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
This medicine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue to take this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Do not skip any doses. You must complete the entire course of medicine. If you don't, the infection will not be properly controlled.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction (breathlessness, rashes, swollen eyes) to similar antiviral medications as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- history of inflammation of the pancreas (in children)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding. It is best that you do not breastfeed as HIV passes into the breast milk. Avoid breastfeeding in order to reduce the risk of passing HIV to your baby.
It is recommended to give your baby commercial infant formula provided that you have access to clean water and facilities.
Hepatitis B and AIDS can be passed to other people through blood and body fluids. Follow your doctor's advice on ways to prevent passing the disease to others.
HIV/AIDS may weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick to minimise the risk of catching an infection. While undergoing treatment, you may develop other infections or experience other health problems related to your HIV infection. Always keep your doctor updated on your condition and go for your appointed check-ups.
Lamivudine side effects may include any of the following: diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, headache, joint or muscle pain, cough, runny nose or irritation, sore throat, chills, fever, tiredness, generally feeling unwell, rashes, loss of appetite, indigestion and difficulty sleeping.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience nausea, vomiting, stomach pain with loss of appetite, rapid breathing, and weakness affecting motion.
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking certain antibiotics e.g. trimethoprim, co-trimoxazole (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim) or other medicines to treat viral infections e.g. ganciclovir, ribavirin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
The oral solution can be stored at room temperature of up to 25°C. Do not freeze. Throw away any unused solution 1 month after you first open the bottle.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.