Telbivudine is used to treat chronic hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Take Telbivudine 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.
Telbivudine is available as a tablet or oral solution.
If you are taking the tablet, swallow it whole with some water. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet.
If you are taking an oral solution, use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure out your prescribed dose.
It may be necessary for you to take Telbivudine for a long time, such as a few months or years. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is within 4 hours before 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.
Do not take this medicine if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to Telbivudine and to similar medicines such as Lamivudine.
Do not take this medicine if you are breastfeeding.
DO NOT take Telbivudine with pegylated interferon alfa-2a (medication used to treat hepatitis C and hepatitis B).
Inform your doctor if:
- you have liver disease or other risk factors for liver disease
- you have kidney disease
- you have HIV infection
- you are a liver transplant recipient
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant.
Telbivudine does not reduce your risk of passing HBV infection to others through sexual contact or through contamination with infected blood. Ensure that you use proper precautions to avoid spreading HBV infection to others.
Both this medicine and HBV may weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to infections. Avoid crowded places or those who are sick to minimise the risk of catching an infection. While undergoing treatment, you may develop other infections or experience other health problems. Always keep your doctor updated on your condition.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly. Your doctor may also need to perform liver and kidney function tests before you take Telbivudine and thereafter depending on your doctor’s advice.
Telbivudine may cause dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, tiredness, throat pain, cough, nausea, diarrhoea, stomach pain, muscle pain, back pain, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, itching and rash.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- persistent muscle weakness or pain
- numbness, tingling, pain and/or burning sensation in the arms or legs
- swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
- difficulty in breathing
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
DO NOT take Telbivudine with medicines used to treat Hepatitis B/C infection, such as peginterferon alfa-2a.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicine for fungal infection e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole
- certain antibiotics e.g. erythromycin
- medicine for HIV infection e.g. zidovudine
- medicine for organ transplant and certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
- cholesterol-lowering medicines e.g. gemfibrozil, niacin, simvastatin
- penicillamine (medicine for joint inflammation)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Telbivudine.
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.
Avoid alcohol. Consuming large amount of alcohol is damaging to your liver.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Do not freeze the oral solution. The oral solution should be used within 2 months after opening.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.