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Drug Dosing Toolkit: Epivir

for Veterans and the Public

Epivir (lamivudine, 3TC)

Type of Drug: Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor

Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors were the first type of drug available to treat HIV. They are also known as NRTIs, nucleoside analogues, or "nukes."

When the HIV virus enters a healthy cell, it attempts to make copies of itself. It does this by using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase. NRTIs block that enzyme, so HIV cannot make new copies of itself.

Approved adult dosing

one 300 mg tablet Epivir once a day

  • Daily
    Epivir 300

    Epivir 300 mg

one 150 mg tablet Epivir two times a day

  • Morning
    Epivir 150

    Epivir 150 mg

  • Evening
    Epivir 150

    Epivir 150 mg

Note: Generic formulations are available; these generic pills may have different shapes and colors than the one shown above.

Notes on taking this medication

  • No food restrictions, can take with or without food
  • Persons with kidney problems may need an adjustment to their dose of Epivir
  • Do not take Epivir with Emtriva

Side effects

  • Side effects are rare but include headaches and general sense of feeling ill
  • Epivir is active against hepatitis B, and stopping it can cause "flare-up" of hepatitis B

See accompanying chart: Tips for Common Side Effects

My doctor's instructions

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to substitute for advice from your medical provider or pharmacist. If you have any questions about your medication dosing, talk to your medical provider or pharmacist.