Hepsera (Adefovir Dipvoxil)
Hepsera (Adefovir Dipvoxil) Dosage and Side Effects
HEPSERA is used to treat adults with continuing (chronic) infection with active hepatitis B virus.
Proper Use of this medication
- The usual adult dose is one HEPSERA 10 mg tablet orally (by mouth) once a day.
- Your doctor may prescribe a different dosing schedule if you have problems with your kidneys.
- HEPSERA may be taken with or without food.
- Do not stop taking HEPSERA without consulting your doctor. Your hepatitis may get worse if you stop taking HEPSERA.
In case of drug overdose, contact a health care practitioner, hospital emergency department or regional Poison Control Centre immediately, even if there are no symptoms.
- If you miss your regular time for taking your dose, but then remember it during that same day, take your missed dose immediately.
- Then, take your next dose at the regularly scheduled time the following day.
- Do not take two doses of HEPSERA at once to make up for missing a dose.
- If you are not sure what to do if you miss taking your medication check with your doctor or pharmacist for further instructions.
The most common side effects of HEPSERA are weakness, headache, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, flatulence (intestinal gas) and indigestion.
The most common side effects of HEPSERA in patients with chronic hepatitis B having a liver transplant are: weakness, stomach pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash and itching. Some patients also had undesirable effects on their kidneys, including kidney failure and damage to kidney cells.
Other possible side effects may include: muscle pain, muscle weakness, bone pain and softening of the bone (which may contribute to fractures) which are associated with kidney problems, and inflammation of the pancreas.
These are not all the possible side effects of HEPSERA. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can discuss with you a more complete list of possible side effects with HEPSERA. You should report any new or continuing symptoms to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Warnings and Precautions
Serious Warnings and Precautions
Talk to your doctor before you stop taking HEPSERA. Some people who take HEPSERA get a very serious hepatitis when they stop taking HEPSERA. This usually happens within 12 weeks after you stop HEPSERA. You will need to have regular blood tests to check for liver function and hepatitis B virus levels if you stop taking HEPSERA.
HEPSERA may cause kidney problems. This can happen to anyone that uses HEPSERA, especially people who already have kidney problems. Your doctor may ask you to have blood tests to check for kidney function while you are taking HEPSERA. Since kidney problems often do not cause symptoms and are often only detected with blood tests, it is important to have all of your blood tests as instructed by your doctor.
If you get or have HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS), and you don't know it, or if your HIV is not being treated while you are taking HEPSERA, HEPSERA may increase the chances of you developing resistance to HIV infection, asHEPSERA may have some anti-HIV activity. You should talk to your doctor to find out if you should have an HIV test before you start taking HEPSERA and whenever there is a change that you were exposed to HIV.
Some people who have taken nucleotide analog medications like HEPSERA, either alone or in combination with other anti-retroviral drugs, have developed a serious condition called lactic acidosis (build up of acid in the blood). Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and must be treated in the hospital. (See table Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them.) Some people who have taken medications like HEPSERA, have developed serious liver problems called hepatoxicity, with liver enlargement (hepatomegaly) and fat in the liver (steatosis). (See table Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them.) You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are very overweight (obese) or have been taking nucleotide analog medicines, like HEPSERA, for a long time.
BEFORE you use HEPSERA talk to your doctor or pharmacist if:
You know that you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, so that you can discuss the risk and benefit of takingHEPSERA. It is not known if HEPSERA can harm your unborn child.
You are breastfeeding.
You have kidney problems now or had them before.
You are taking other medications that affect how your kidneys work.
You think you may have HIV (the virus that causes AIDS).
Interactions with this medication
Tell your doctor about all the medications you take. Some medications may affect how HEPSERA (adefovir dipivoxil) works, especially medications that affect how your kidneys work. Do not take any other medications while you are taking HEPSERA, until you have checked with your doctor.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.