Lamivudine (Page 3 of 7)

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of lamivudine. 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.

Body as a Whole

Redistribution/accumulation of body fat.

Endocrine and Metabolic




Hemic and Lymphatic

Anemia (including pure red cell aplasia and severe anemias progressing on therapy).

Hepatic and Pancreatic

Lactic acidosis and hepatic steatosis [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.2)], posttreatment exacerbations of hepatitis B [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.1)].


Anaphylaxis, urticaria.


Muscle weakness, CPK elevation, rhabdomyolysis.


Alopecia, pruritus.


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 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.6), CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY (12.3)].


8.1 Pregnancy

Pregnancy Exposure Registry

There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to lamivudine tablets 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 difference in the overall risk of birth defects for lamivudine compared with the background rate for birth defects of 2.7% in the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program (MACDP) reference population (see Data). The APR uses the MACDP as the 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 occurred at less than 20 weeks’ gestation. The rate of miscarriage is not reported in the APR. The estimated background rate of miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies in the U.S. general population is 15% to 20%. The background risk for major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown.

In animal reproduction studies, 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 development effects were observed with oral administration of lamivudine to pregnant rats during organogenesis at plasma concentrations (Cmax ) 35 times the recommended clinical dose (see Data).


Human Data:

Based on prospective reports to the APR of over 11,000 exposures to lamivudine during pregnancy resulting in live births (including over 4,500 exposed in the first trimester), there was no difference between the overall risk of birth defects for lamivudine compared with the background birth defect rate of 2.7% in the U.S. reference population of the MACDP. The prevalence of 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.

Lamivudine pharmacokinetics were studied in pregnant women 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 with zidovudine, 10 women at 38 weeks’ gestation using 150 mg lamivudine twice daily with zidovudine, and 10 women at 38 weeks’ gestation using lamivudine 300 mg twice daily without other antiretrovirals. These trials were not designed or powered to provide efficacy information. 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 concentration (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 35 times higher than human exposure at the recommended daily dose. Evidence of early embryolethality was seen in the rabbit at system exposures (AUC) similar to those observed in humans, but there was no indication of this effect in the rat at plasma concentrations (Cmax ) 35 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.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that HIV-1-infected mothers in the United States not breastfeed their infants to avoid risking postnatal transmission of HIV-1 infection. Lamivudine is present in human milk. There is no information on the effects of lamivudine on the breastfed infant or the effects of the drugs on milk production. Because of the potential for (1) HIV-1 transmission (in HIV-negative infants), (2) developing viral resistance (in HIV-positive infants), and (3) adverse reactions in a breastfed infant, instruct mothers not to breastfeed if they are receiving lamivudine.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and effectiveness of lamivudine in combination with other antiretroviral agents have been established in pediatric patients aged 3 months and older. Lamivudine scored tablet is the preferred formulation for HIV-1-infected pediatric patients who weigh at least 14 kg and for whom a solid dosage form is appropriate because pediatric subjects who received EPIVIR oral solution had lower rates of virologic suppression, lower plasma lamivudine exposure, and developed viral resistance more frequently than those receiving lamivudine tablets in the ARROW trial [see DOSAGE AND ADMIISTRATION (2.2), WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS (5.6), ADVERSE REACTIONS (6.1), CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY (12.3), CLINICAL STUDIES (14.2)].

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical trials of lamivudine did not include sufficient numbers of subjects aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger subjects. In general, caution should be exercised in the administration of lamivudine tablets in elderly patients reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION (2.3), CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY (12.3)].

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