Entecavir is a medicine used to treat viral infections.
This medicine is used to treat long-term hepatitis B virus infection of the liver by decreasing the amount of virus in your body and improves the condition of your liver.
Take Entecavir 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.
This medicine is available as an oral tablet and oral solution.
If you are taking the tablet, take it on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours before or after a meal.
If you are taking an oral solution, take it also on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours before or after a meal. Use the measuring spoon supplied with each bottle to measure out your dose. Rinse the measuring spoon with water after each daily dose. The oral solution should not be mixed with water or other beverages.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on the type and severity of your infection.
Entecavir must be taken at regular intervals for it to be effective. Continue to take this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed otherwise, as stopping it suddenly may worsen your condition.
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 (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to Entecavir or any 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 e.g. hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver)
- risk factors for liver disease e.g. taking long term medications that cause liver injury, obesity
- AIDS (HIV infection)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It is important that you do not get pregnant while being treated with Entecavir. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid breastfeeding while you are being treated with this medicine.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. He may also need to do routine blood tests (e.g. liver function tests) while you are being treated with Entecavir.
This medicine does not reduce your risk of passing Hepatitis B to other people through sexual contact or contamination with infected blood. Ensure that you take proper precautions to avoid spreading Hepatitis B virus infection to others. Do not share razors, nail clippers, and toothbrushes to others. Practice safe sex; use condoms to protect your partner.
Entecavir may cause drowsiness or dizziness. This medicine may also cause you to suddenly fall asleep during your daily activities such as eating and watching television. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects may include any of the following: headache, tiredness, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain, indigestion and difficulty sleeping.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- nausea and vomiting with stomach pain, severe weakness, difficulty breathing, fast heartbeat
- severe stomach pain which may reach through to your back, yellowing of the skin or eyes
- rashes, breathlessness, and swollen mouth or eyes
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 any of these medicines:
- other medicines for viral infection e.g. lamivudine, adefovir
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin, tacrolimus
- orlistat (medicine used to help lose weight)
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Avoid alcohol. Consuming large amount of alcohol is very damaging to the liver.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.