EPIVIR HBV (Page 3 of 6)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of EPIVIR-HBV. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure. These reactions have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to lamivudine.

Blood and Lymphatic

Anemia (including pure red cell aplasia and severe anemias progressing on therapy), lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, thrombocytopenia.



Endocrine and Metabolic




Hepatic and Pancreatic

Lactic acidosis and steatosis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)] , posttreatment exacerbations of hepatitis [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)] , pancreatitis.


Anaphylaxis, urticaria.


Cramps, rhabdomyolysis.


Paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy.


Abnormal breath sounds/wheezing.


Alopecia, pruritus, rash.


7.1 Drugs Inhibiting Organic Cation Transporters

Lamivudine is predominantly eliminated in the urine by active organic cationic secretion. The possibility of interactions with other drugs administered concurrently should be considered, particularly when their main route of elimination is active renal secretion via the organic cationic transport system (e.g., trimethoprim) [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. No data are available regarding interactions with other drugs that have renal clearance mechanisms similar to that of lamivudine.

7.2 Sorbitol

Coadministration of single doses of lamivudine and sorbitol resulted in a sorbitol dose-dependent reduction in lamivudine exposures. When possible, avoid use of sorbitol-containing medicines with lamivudine [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Consider more frequent monitoring of HBV viral load when chronic coadministration cannot be avoided.


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Exposure Registry

There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to lamivudine during pregnancy. Healthcare providers are encouraged to register patients by calling the Antiretroviral Pregnancy Registry (APR) at 1-800-258-4263.

Risk Summary

Available data from the APR show no substantial difference in the risk of overall major birth defects for lamivudine compared with the background rate for major birth defects of 2.7% reported in the U.S. reference population of the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP). The APR uses the MACDP as a U.S. reference population for birth defects in the general population. The MACDP evaluates women and infants from a limited geographic area and does not include outcomes for births that occur at less than 20 weeks’ gestation. Of over 11,000 women exposed to lamivudine in the APR, less than 1% were treated for HBV. The majority of women exposed to lamivudine in the APR were HIV-1-infected and were treated with higher doses of lamivudine compared with HBV mono-infected women. In addition to lamivudine, HIV-1-infected women were also treated with other concomitant medications for HIV-1 infection (see Data). The estimated rate of miscarriage for women exposed to lamivudine in the indicated population is unknown. The estimated background rate of miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies in the U.S. general population is 15% to 20%.

Oral administration of lamivudine to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis resulted in embryolethality at systemic exposure (AUC) similar to the recommended clinical dose; however, no adverse developmental effects were observed with oral administration of lamivudine to pregnant rats during organogenesis at plasma concentrations (Cmax ) 60 times the recommended clinical dose (see Data).


Human Data: Based on prospective reports from the APR of over 11,000 exposures to lamivudine (including over 4,600 exposed in the first trimester) during pregnancy resulting in live births, less than 1% of which were patients with HBV, there was no substantial difference in birth defects with lamivudine compared with the birth defect rate of 2.7% observed in the comparator population of the MACDP. The prevalence of birth defects in live births was 3.1% (95% CI: 2.6% to 3.6%) following first trimester exposure to lamivudine-containing regimens and 2.8% (95% CI: 2.5% to 3.3%) following second/third trimester exposure to lamivudine-containing regimens.

The pharmacokinetics of lamivudine in patients with HBV or HIV-1 infection and in healthy volunteers are similar at similar doses. Lamivudine pharmacokinetics were studied in pregnant women with HIV-1 infection during 2 clinical trials conducted in South Africa. The trials assessed pharmacokinetics in 16 women at 36 weeks’ gestation using 150 mg lamivudine twice daily (3 times the recommended daily dosage for HBV) with zidovudine, 10 women at 38 weeks’ gestation using 150 mg lamivudine twice daily (3 times the recommended daily dosage for HBV) with zidovudine, and 10 women at 38 weeks’ gestation using lamivudine 300 mg twice daily (6 times the recommended daily dosage for HBV) without other antiretrovirals. Lamivudine concentrations were generally similar in maternal, neonatal, and umbilical cord serum samples. In a subset of subjects, amniotic fluid specimens were collected following natural rupture of membranes and confirmed that lamivudine crosses the placenta in humans. Based on limited data at delivery, median (range) amniotic fluid concentrations of lamivudine were 3.9- (1.2- to 12.8-) fold greater compared with paired maternal serum concentrations (n = 8).

Animal Data: Lamivudine was administered orally to pregnant rats (at 90, 600, and 4,000 mg per kg per day) and rabbits (at 90, 300, and 1,000 mg per kg per day and at 15, 40, and 90 mg per kg per day) during organogenesis (on Gestation Days 7 through 16 [rat] and 8 through 20 [rabbit]). No evidence of fetal malformations due to lamivudine was observed in rats and rabbits at doses producing plasma concentrations (Cmax ) approximately 53 or more times higher than human exposure at the recommended daily dose. Evidence of early embryolethality in the absence of maternal toxicity was seen in the rabbit at systemic exposures (AUC) similar to those observed in humans, but there was no indication of this effect in the rat at plasma concentrations (Cmax ) 60 times higher than human exposure at the recommended daily dose. Studies in pregnant rats showed that lamivudine is transferred to the fetus through the placenta. In the fertility/pre-and postnatal development study in rats, lamivudine was administered orally at doses of 180, 900, and 4,000 mg per kg per day (from prior to mating through postnatal Day 20). In the study, development of the offspring, including fertility and reproductive performance, was not affected by maternal administration of lamivudine at plasma concentrations (Cmax ) 104 times higher than human exposure.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Lamivudine is present in human milk. There is no information available regarding lamivudine concentrations in milk from lactating women receiving lamivudine for treatment of HBV infection. However, in lactating women with HIV-1 infection being treated with lamivudine at 3 or 6 times the recommended daily dose for HBV, lamivudine concentrations in milk were similar to those observed in serum (see Data). The lamivudine dose received by a breastfed infant of a mother being treated for HIV-1 infection was estimated to be approximately 6% of the recommended daily lamivudine dose for HBV in children over 2 years of age.

There is no information available regarding the effects of the drug on the breastfed infant or on milk production.

The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for EPIVIR-HBV and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from lamivudine or from the underlying maternal condition.


In mothers with HIV receiving lamivudine monotherapy (300 mg twice daily [6 times the recommended daily dosage for HBV]) or combination therapy (150 mg lamivudine twice daily [3 times the recommended daily dosage for HBV] with 300 mg zidovudine twice daily), the median breast milk to plasma lamivudine concentration ratio was 0.6 to 3.3, and the estimated infant daily dose was approximately 6% of the recommended 3-mg-per-kg daily lamivudine dose for treatment of HBV in children over 2 years of age. In breastfed infants of mothers with HIV-1 infection receiving lamivudine therapy, the blood concentrations of lamivudine decreased after delivery and were undetectable at 6 months despite constant milk concentrations. This is consistent with increased lamivudine renal clearance in the first 6 months of life.

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