Lamivudine (3TC)

lam-MIV-vue-deen (three-tee-see)

  • Lamivudine – also called 3TC – (tradename Epivir in Europe) is a nucleoside analogue.
  • During 2013 generic formulations of 3TC may be used in the UK with will have a different brand name, a different pill size and shape and different packaging. The active ingredients will be just as effective as the original formulation.
  • Standard adult dose: 300 mg once-daily, This is taken as a single 300 mg pill or 2 x 150 mg tablets.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Side effects: generally very easy to tolerate. Rare side effects include peripheral neuropathy and hair loss.
  • Other notes: 3TC is very similar to FTC. Do not take 3TC and FTC together (Truvada includes FTC). 3TC is also active against hepatitis B.
  • 3TC is included with abacavir in the fixed dose combinations Kivexa.
  • 3TC is included with AZT in the fixed dose combination Combivir.
  • 3TC is included with abacavir and AZT in the fixed dose combinationsTrizivir.

Further information

The European Patient Information and detailed Product Information for 3TC are available from this link at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) website.

The Patient Information is a simplified summary: what the drug is, why it is used, results from studies and cautions including side effects.

The Product Information is a detailed technical summary that you can access as a PDF file by clicking the ‘Product Information’ tab. It describes more precisely how the drug works and how it is processed by your body. This includes, for example, reported food interaction studies in terms of calories or fat content. It includes more details of the study results and a full list of side effects and drug interactions.