Generic Name: lamivudine

Pronunciation: N/A

Abbreviation: 3TC

Other Market Name: N/A

Drug Class: Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)

Company: ViiV Healthcare

Approval Status: Approved

Generic Version Available: Yes

Experimental Code: N/A

Drug Indication

A component of recommended and alternative treatment regimens for antiretroviral-naive people living with HIV, as indicated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Visit for the full DHHS guidelines.

General Info

Epivir is an HIV medication. It is in a category of HIV medications called nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Epivir was approved for the treatment of HIV by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1995.

Epivir is available as a single drug or in the fixed-dose combination drugs Combivir, Epzicom, Triumeq, and Tirizivir.

Epivir must be used in combination with other HIV drugs.


Adult Dose: One 300mg tablet once a day, or one 150mg tablet twice a day

Pediatric Dose: Age 3 month to 18 years: dosing based on body weight and should not exceed adult daily dose.

Dosing Info: Take with or without food.

Epivir is also used to treat patients infected with the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), but at a different dose. If you are dually infected with HIV and HBV, the dosage indicated for HIV therapy should be used.

Side Effects

The most common side effects caused by drug regimens containing Epivir are headache, diarrhea, and nausea.

If you have hepatitis B and HIV and plan to stop taking Epivir, you need close medical follow-up and for several months and your doctor might want to frequently check your liver enzymes after stopping treatment. This is because Epivir is also active against the hepatitis B virus (HBV). If Epivir is stopped abruptly, it can cause liver disease to “flare” and damage the liver.

Drug Interactions

For a review of drug interactions, including prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements that should not be taken with Epivir or may require dose adjustments, consult the Epivir package insert:

Other Info

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease or liver disease. In addition, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, and all your medical conditions, including all prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements you are taking.

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Last Reviewed: July 15, 2016