Hepatitis Home > Epivir Uses

Epivir is used for treating hepatitis and HIV or AIDS. It is approved to treat chronic hepatitis B in children as young as two years old and HIV or AIDS in children as young as three months old. Off-label Epivir uses may include the prevention of HIV infection in people exposed to the HIV virus (such as healthcare workers who experience a contaminated needle stick).

What Is Epivir Used For?

Epivir® (lamivudine) is a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of the following conditions:
 
  • AIDS and HIV infection
  • Hepatitis.
     
Epivir belongs to a group of medications known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (also known as NRTIs).
 

Epivir for Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver caused by a virus (specifically, the hepatitis B virus). There are two types of hepatitis B -- acute (recently acquired) and chronic (lifelong). For most people with acute hepatitis B, symptoms gradually get better within a couple of months. These people will have no long-lasting liver damage and will recover completely.
 
For some people, however, the body is not able to completely get rid of the virus. These people end up having a long-term liver infection. This is called chronic hepatitis B. People with chronic hepatitis B can infect others and are at an increased risk of serious liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. In the United States, an estimated 1.25 million people are chronically infected with HBV.
 
Epivir is approved to treat hepatitis B in people who are experiencing liver damage due to chronic infection with the virus. Epivir will not cure hepatitis B, but it can help slow or prevent liver damage.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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