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Lamivudine (Epivir, 3TC) Side Effects

lamivudine side effects 1

Compared to other antiretroviral drugs, lamivudine, also known as Epivir or 3TC, has its share of side effects, whether it be mild or serious. The following lists of side effects are categorized according to the severity of the unwanted reactions. Take into account the list of known and expected reactions while taking lamivudine.

Lamivudine side effects

List of side effects that require urgent medical attention:

Aside from having the most common unwanted reactions brought about by taking lamivudine, there are those that require urgent medical attention. Should these side effects occur to you, seek medical care immediately or ask for assistance from your doctor promptly.

  • Appetite problems
  • Black, tarry stools OR black, sticky lumps of stools
  • Bleeding gums – a symptom of gum disease
  • Bloating – associated with abdominal pain and constipation
  • Blood appearing in urine and stools
  • Blurry vision
  • Breath odour
  • Bruising
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry skin
  • Dizziness or severe headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Frequent urination
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle spasms or cramps
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Nausea
  • Severe itching in the hands, arms, and feet
  • Skin problems (red spots, skin rash, hives)
  • Sleepiness
  • Stomach discomfort (indigestion or dyspepsia)
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, and tongue
  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Tiredness
  • Unexplained hunger
  • Unexplained thirst
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Unusual bruising
  • Vomiting

List of side effects that do not necessarily require urgent medical attention:

Some of these side effects are the most common and will go away once your body is used to taking medicine. Once you experience the following unwanted effects, medical care is not necessary, but your health care provider will explain to you how to handle the side effects.

Remember that when these side effects persist, seek medical assistance with your doctor at once. These are as follows:

  • Belching or burping
  • Breathing problems
  • Burning sensation on specific parts of the body
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling of fatigue
  • Feeling of discomfort
  • Hair loss
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion or dyspepsia
  • Joint pain
  • Mild headache
  • Mood disorder such as depression
  • Numbness of the hands, arms, and feet
  • Pain in areas of the body
  • Runny nose
  • Skin problems (rashes, pale skin)
  • Sleeping problem
  • Sore throat
  • Stomachache
  • Tingling sensation in the hands, arms, feet, and legs
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained sweating
  • Weight gain around the neck, upper back, breast, face, and waist

There are other side effects that may not be listed here. Always check with your health care professional and receive medical advice when taking lamivudine. Strict compliance to the prescription given by the doctor will also help you not to experience some of the side effects provided. Furthermore, always remember that when these unwanted reactions become severe, request medical attention immediately.

Take lamivudine according to the prescription provided by your health care professional. The right dosage depends on the kind of treatment you will be receiving. If it’s for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), the dosage can be given once or twice a day, with 300mg of lamivudine in total. However, for HBV, it is different. The dosage is only 100mg each day. The dosage mentioned is only for adults ages 18 years and older. Following the right dosage for taking lamivudine also plays an important role in the treatment. It will save you from experiencing some of the mentioned side effects and ultimately get treated effectively.

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