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Hepsera is a medicine used to treat chronic (long-term) hepatitis B (HBV) infection.
How does this medication work?
Hepsera works by blocking a chemical in your body that is needed for HBV to multiply, thereby lowering the amount of HBV in your blood.
Hepsera does not cure HBV infection and you may continue to experience illnesses associated with HBV infection. See your healthcare provider regularly.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Lowering the amount of HBV in blood may improve the condition of your liver.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Hepsera exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.
How do I know it is working?
Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
Hepsera can cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up of an acid in the blood). This can be a medical emergency and may need to be treated in the hospital. Call your healthcare provider right away if you feel very weak, tired, dizzy, or lightheaded; have unusual muscle pain or stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; trouble breathing; you feel cold, especially in your arms and legs; or have a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Hepsera can also cause serious liver problems, with liver enlargement and fat in your liver. Call your healthcare provider right away if you develop yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, dark-colored urine or light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, feel sick to your stomach, or have lower abdominal (stomach area) pain.
If you have HBV infection and you stop taking Hepsera, you may get a "flare-up" of your hepatitis. A "flare-up" is when the disease suddenly returns in a worse way than before. If you have HBV and stop taking Hepsera, your healthcare provider may monitor you closely for several months to check for hepatitis that could be getting worse. Talk to your healthcare provider about appropriate HBV treatment if necessary.
Hepsera may cause serious kidney problems. Your healthcare provider will order tests to check your kidney function during your treatment with Hepsera.
More common side effects may include: weakness, headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, increased intestinal gas.
Less common side effects may include: muscle pain or weakness, weakening of bones, inflammation of your pancreas.
Do not take Hepsera if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Hepsera. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney problems, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Adults and children ≥12 years: The recommended dose is 10 milligrams once a day.
If you or your child has kidney impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust the dose appropriately.
Take Hepsera exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Hepsera without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Take Hepsera at the same time every day, with or without food.
When your Hepsera starts to run low, get more from your healthcare provider or pharmacy. This is very important because the amount of virus in your blood may increase if the medicine is stopped for even a short time. The virus may develop resistance to Hepsera and become harder to treat.
Do not do anything that can spread HBV to others, such as sharing needles or other injection equipment, sharing personal items that can have blood or body fluids on them (such as toothbrushes or razor blades), or having any kind of unprotected sex.
If Hepsera is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Hepsera with the following: Atripla, Complera, Stribild, Truvada, or Viread.
The effects of Hepsera during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Do not breastfeed while you are taking Hepsera. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
If you become pregnant while taking Hepsera, talk to your healthcare provider about registering with the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of this medicine during pregnancy.
If you miss a dose of Hepsera, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take more than one dose in one day or take two doses at once.
Store at room temperature.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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