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What is Epivir Solution?

Epivir solution is used with other medications to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults. It is also used to treat hepatitis B infection. It is in a class of medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). It works by decreasing the amount of HIV and hepatitis B in the blood. Although Epivir does not cure HIV, it may decrease your chance of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as serious infections or cancer. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other lifestyle changes may decrease the risk of transmitting the HIV or hepatitis B virus to other people.

Take Epivir solution exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. You may take this medicine with or without food. Measure the Epivir solution carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided or a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Epivir is for treating HIV, and Epivir-HBV is for treating hepatitis B. Each time you get a refill of this medication, be sure you have received the correct brand to treat your condition.

Before Taking Epivir Solution

Before taking Epivir solution, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • if you are allergic to Epivir,
  • liver disease (especially hepatitis B or C, or a liver transplant);
  • pancreatitis;
  • kidney disease; or
  • diabetes.

You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous lactic acid build-up in your blood. It may be more likely if you have other medical conditions, if you've taken HIV medication for a long time, or if you are a woman. 

HIV can be passed to your baby if the virus is not controlled during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, and use your medications to control your infection. 

You should not breastfeed while using Epivir to treat hepatitis B. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breastfeed a baby. 

Epivir Solution Side Effects

Call your doctor at once if you have the following:

  • Pancreas problems - severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate; or
  • Liver problems - swelling around your midsection, right-sided upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice,

Epivir solution affects your immune system and may cause certain side effects. Tell your doctor if you have the following:

  • Signs of a new infection - fever, night sweats, swollen glands, cold sores, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, weight loss;
  • Trouble speaking or swallowing, problems with balance or eye movement, weakness or prickly feeling; or
  • Swelling in your neck or throat, menstrual changes, impotence.

Common Epivir solution side effects may include:

  • nausea, diarrhea;
  • headache;
  • fever, tiredness, general ill feeling;
  • ear infection - ear pain or full feeling, trouble hearing, drainage from the ear, fussiness in a child; or
  • nose or throat infection - stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough.

These are not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

FAQs

How effective is the Epivir solution?

Epivir solution is very effective against HIV when taken daily with other HIV ARVs. 

When is the best time of day to take the Epivir solution?

Take Epivir solution daily at the same time and if you take it twice a day, space your doses 12 hours apart. 

What side effects can Epivir solution cause?

Headache, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, or trouble sleeping may occur.

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