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April 14, 2021

Lamivudine is a 100 mg tablet used to treat certain infections. This decreases the virus’s ability to reproduce and grow. This also prevents it from becoming resistant to treatment. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medicine.

What condition does Lamivudine treat?

Lamivudine is a prescription medicine used to lessen the total HIV infection in the body. It helps the immune system to work well. This medication is not a cure for HIV. This will lower your chance of getting HIV problems such as:

  • New infections
  • Cancer

This medication is always used in combination with other anti-HIV medicines that attack HIV in different ways. Taking Lamivudine with other HIV medications will help you live longer and healthier lives. 

How does Lamivudine work?

AIDS is caused by infection with HIV that invades the immune system’s cells. It specifically invades the CD4 T-helper lymphocytes which are white blood cells. These cells commonly function to activate the immune system cells to combat infection. As HIV destroys CD4 T-helper cells, as time goes by, the body has fewer possibilities to combat the virus. It already increases as soon as the virus is already in the CD4 T-cell. Part of the development of viral growth includes the transformation of the virus genetic material, RNA to DNA. This is attained by a compound vital to the virus, which is called reverse transcriptase which is a compound also known as an enzyme.

Lamivudine works by stopping the action of this enzyme. In that way, it interferes with the conversion of viral RNA into DNA. This prevents the virus from growing. 

What is the dosage of Lamivudine?

The dosage of this medicine your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors including:

  • Your age
  • The type and severity of the condition you’re using the medicine to treat
  • Other medical conditions you may have

Usually, your doctor will start you on a low dose and adjust it overtime to reach the dose that is suitable for you. Your doctor will prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following describes doses that are usually used or recommended by a doctor. On the other hand, be sure to take the dose your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will regulate the best dosage to suit your needs.

For ages 18 years and older:

  • The typical dose is 100 mg to be taken once a day.

For ages 2 to 17 years:

  • The dosage will depend on their weight. For those who need less than 100 mg each day, they must take the oral solution version of this medicine.
  • The usual dose taken is 3 mg/kg, once a day.
  • The maximum dose is 100 mg each day.

For child ages 0 to 1 year:

  • The dosage for children younger than 2 years has not been established and there is a special dosage consideration.

For people with kidney disease, your kidneys may not process the drug from your blood fast enough. Your doctor may prescribe you a lower dosage so that the drug level doesn’t get too high in your body.

What are the precautions in using Lamivudine?

  • Before taking the medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it. Tell also if you have any allergies.
  • Use this drug with caution in people 65 years of age and those with liver disease.
  • This is not recommended for those with a decreased kidney function.
  • It may be possible for you to develop a hazardous accumulation of lactic acid in your blood called lactic acidosis. This might be more possible if you have taken medication for HIV for a long time or if you have any other medical complications. You may ask your pharmacist or your doctor about any risks.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, and take your medicines correctly to control your infection. HIV could be passed to your baby if it is not well controlled during pregnancy.
  • While you are using this medicine, you should not breastfeed especially if you are treating hepatitis B. Women with AIDS or HIV must not breastfeed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.
  • It is important to let your doctor know if you have ever had liver disease, pancreatitis, kidney disease, or diabetes.

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