More Information on Lamivudine

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking lamivudine if you have:
 
  • Had inflammation of the pancreas (known as pancreatitis)
  • Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Lamivudine to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
 

How Does Lamivudine Work?

Lamivudine belongs to group of medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTI medications work by blocking a process that the HIV and hepatitis B viruses need in order to multiply.
 
HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) is responsible for AIDS, and HBV (the hepatitis B virus) is responsible for hepatitis B infection. Like other viruses, HIV and HBV must use a person's own cells to reproduce. However, HIV and HBV are different from many other viruses because they must first convert their genetic material from RNA to DNA. It is the DNA genes that allow HIV and HBV to multiply.
 
HIV and HBV convert their genetic material into DNA by using a special protein called the reverse transcriptase enzyme. To create DNA, this enzyme uses several different molecular building-blocks.
 
Lamivudine works by tricking reverse transcriptase into thinking it is one of these molecular building-blocks. However, it is just different enough that when used to create DNA, the medication actually stops the DNA from being made. Without DNA, HIV and HBV cannot multiply. It is important to understand that lamivudine is not a cure for HIV, AIDS, or hepatitis B.
 

Lamivudine Drug Information

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