Lamivudine review

Lamivudine is classified as a nucleoside analogue and is well-known as an antiretroviral drug. It has been studied and approved for use in adults and in children over three months old. The drug works by blocking the action of the reverse transcriptase enzyme, which is responsible for converting the genetic material (RNA) of HIV into its DNA form.

Lamivudine is usually prescribed in combination with other drugs to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection in patients diagnosed of having AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Health care workers and other people who may be exposed to the virus after inadvertent contact with contaminated body fluids, blood and tissues are also advised to take the medication as a prophylactic measure.

Another formulation of Lamivudine has also been approved and prescribed for individuals who are infected with hepatitis B virus. Despite its potent effects against HBV, a resistant strain is perceived to surface over months in the establishment of therapy with Lamivudine alone. In addition, Lamivudine preparations specifically intended for the treatment of hepatitis B is normally of a lower dosage compared to the ones indicated for HIV.

Like any prescription drug, Lamivudine should be taken exactly as prescribed. Do not try to take the medication in larger doses or for longer than what was recommended by your physician. You need to follow the instructions to the letter so as to prevent untoward reactions.

Lamivudine is available in liquid form and in tablet preparations of 150 and 300 mg (milligrams). The normal dosage is 300 mg per day. It can either be taken as one 300-mg tablet once a day or one 150-mg tablet twice daily. People who weigh less than 110 pounds (50 kg) should be given lower doses of the drug. Scored tablets in 150-mg preparations that are easier to cut into 75-mg portions may be procured for such cases.

You may take Lamivudine with food or in between meals. Taking the drug with a glass of water is also recommended. The liquid form should be measured using a special measuring cup or spoon. Avoid making use of a regular tablespoon to avoid the chances of inaccuracy. If you don’t own a dose-measuring tool, simply ask your pharmacist where you can get hold of one.

In case you miss a dose, take the drug the moment you remember it. However, if it is just about time for your next dosage, just skip the one you have missed and stick to your regular schedule. Don’t attempt to take a higher dose of the drug to make up for the one you have failed to take.

Before you start taking Lamivudine, inform your physician and your pharmacist if you are allergic to the drug – or any medications, for that matter. Also, you need to provide them with a list of your current prescription or non-prescription drugs, specifically sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim and vitamins.

It is highly advised to tell your doctor if you happen to have any renal or pancreatic diseases, as well as a past or present hepatitis B infection. In addition, notify your physician if you’re pregnant or if you have any plans of conceiving.

Lamivudine can cause a number of untoward reactions. Promptly notify your doctor if any of the following symptoms persist or become severe: diarrhea, fatigue, headache, chills, vomiting, upset stomach and loss of appetite, dizziness, depression, cough, stuffy nose, or trouble with sleeping.

You also need to phone your doctor right away if you experience any of the following warning signs: stomach pain, rash, upset stomach and/or vomiting (in children), muscle pain, fever, or numbness and/or tingling sensation in your fingers or toes.

Lamivudine has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of lamivudine

• Molecular formula of lamivudine is C8H11N3O3S
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 4-amino-1-[2-(hydroxymethyl)-1,3-oxathiolan-5-yl]-1H-pyrimidin-2-one
• Molecular weight is 229.257 g/mol
Lamivudine available : 150mg tablets, 300mg tablets

Brand name(s): Combivir, Epivir, Hepitec, Heptovir, Kivexa, Trizivir, Zeffix

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