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What is lamivudine?

Lamivudine (also called Epivir®) is used to treat infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This medicine is one of a group called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). Lamivudine can slow down how soon you will see symptoms or slow the damage caused by HIV, but it cannot cure HIV infection. This medicine is available as a liquid and as a 150-mg tablet and a 300-mg tablet.

How to take lamivudine

  • This medicine is taken one (1) time in the morning and one (1) time at night.
  • Take lamivudine with or without food. Taking the medicine right after you have eaten a meal may help prevent upset stomach.

Possible side effects of lamivudine

  • Headache
  • Unusual tired feeling
  • Low blood counts
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse or pharmacist at 901-595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for lamivudine

  • Lamivudine liquid and tablets can be stored at room temperature.
  • Blood tests can find some side effects such as low blood counts. It is important that you come to the clinic regularly for blood tests.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).