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.
Bring a printout of this page to discuss with your doctor during your next visit. List your questions at the bottom of the page.
Approved adult dosing
one 300 mg tablet Epivir once a day
Epivir 300 mg
one 150 mg tablet Epivir two times a day
Epivir 150 mg
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 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
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.