Before Using

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Lamivudine can cause serious side effects. In one study, children with advanced AIDS were more likely than children who were less ill to develop pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and peripheral neuropathy (a problem involving the nerves). Therefore, it is especially important that you discuss with your child's doctor the good that this medicine may do as well as the risks of using it. Your child must be seen frequently and your child's progress carefully followed by the doctor while the child is taking lamivudine.


Lamivudine has not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it is not known whether it causes different side effects or problems in the elderly than it does in younger adults. Talk to your doctor first if you have liver, kidney, heart problems or other diseases. Your doctor may need to adjust your dose.


Information about this lamivudine-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters C Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Interferon Alfa
  • Ribavirin
  • Zalcitabine

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Combined infection of HIV and hepatitis B—May make the condition of either of these infections worse
  • Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes)—Lamivudine oral solution contains sucrose
  • Hepatitis C or
  • Hepatitis delta—Caution should be used; lamivudine safety has not been determined in patients who have hepatitis infections
  • Human immunodeficiency virus—For patients with hepatitis B virus, your physician will talk to you about HIV before you begin taking lamivudine. You may be tested for HIV. Lamivudine tablets and oral solution for hepatitis B virus contain lower amounts of the drug than the tablets and solution for HIV. If you start on the lower-dose medication and later learn that you have HIV, the higher-dose lamivudine may not then be effective against the infection caused by HIV.
  • Inflamed pancreas or
  • Problems with inflamed pancreas in the past or
  • Other risk factors for developing an inflamed pancreas or
  • Nerve damage—These conditions may occur or worsen when taking lamivudine
  • Kidney disease—Patients with kidney disease may have an increased chance of side effects
  • Liver disease or
  • Risk factors for liver disease or
  • Obesity (being overweight)—This medicine may make liver disease worse in patients with liver disease, obesity and other HIV medicine use.
  • Organ transplant—Caution should be used; lamivudine safety has not been determined in patients who have received an organ transplant