Lamivudine (Page 4 of 7)

8.6 Patients with Impaired Renal Function

Reduction of the dosage of lamivudine is recommended for patients with impaired renal function [see Dosage and Administration (2.3), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


There is no known specific treatment for overdose with lamivudine. If overdose occurs, the patient should be monitored and standard supportive treatment applied as required. Because a negligible amount of lamivudine was removed via (4-hour) hemodialysis, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, and automated peritoneal dialysis, it is not known if continuous hemodialysis would provide clinical benefit in a lamivudine overdose event.


Lamivudine Oral Solution, USP (also known as 3TC) is a synthetic nucleoside analogue with activity against HIV-1 and HBV. The chemical name of lamivudine is (2R,cis)-4-amino-1-(2-hydroxymethyl-1,3-oxathiolan-5-yl)-(1H)-pyrimidin-2-one. Lamivudine is the (-­)enantiomer of a dideoxy analogue of cytidine. Lamivudine has also been referred to as (-)2′,3′-dideoxy, 3′-thiacytidine. It has a molecular formula of C8 H11 N3 O3 S and a molecular weight of 229.3 g per mol. It has the following structural formula:


Lamivudine is a white to off-white crystalline solid with a solubility of approximately 70 mg per mL in water at 20°C.

Lamivudine oral solution, USP is for oral administration. One milliliter (1 mL) of lamivudine oral solution, USP contains 10 mg of lamivudine (10 mg per mL) in an aqueous solution and the inactive ingredients alcohol (5% v/v), edetate disodium, artificial strawberry flavor, citric acid (anhydrous), methylparaben, propylene glycol, propylparaben, sodium citrate (dihydrate), sucrose (200 mg) and purified water.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Lamivudine is an antiretroviral agent [see Microbiology (12.4)].

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Pharmacokinetics in Adults

The pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine have been studied in asymptomatic, HIV-1-infected adult subjects after administration of single intravenous (IV) doses ranging from 0.25 to 8 mg per kg, as well as single and multiple (twice-daily regimen) oral doses ranging from 0.25 to 10 mg per kg.

The pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine have also been studied as single and multiple oral doses ranging from 5 mg to 600 mg per day administered to HBV-infected subjects.

The steady-state pharmacokinetic properties of the lamivudine 300-mg tablet once daily for 7 days compared with the lamivudine 150-mg tablet twice daily for 7 days were assessed in a crossover trial in 60 healthy subjects. Lamivudine 300 mg once daily resulted in lamivudine exposures that were similar to lamivudine 150 mg twice daily with respect to plasma AUC24,ss ; however, Cmax ,ss was 66% higher and the trough value was 53% lower compared with the 150-mg twice-daily regimen. Intracellular lamivudine triphosphate exposures in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were also similar with respect to AUC24,ss and Cmax24,ss ; however, trough values were lower compared with the 150-mg twice-daily regimen. Inter-subject variability was greater for intracellular lamivudine triphosphate concentrations versus lamivudine plasma trough concentrations.

The pharmacokinetics of lamivudine was evaluated in 12 adult HIV-1-infected subjects dosed with lamivudine 150 mg twice daily in combination with other antiretroviral agents. The geometric mean (95% CI) for AUC(0-12) was 5.53 (4.58, 6.67) mcg.h per mL and for Cmax was 1.40 (1.17, 1.69) mcg per mL.

Absorption and Bioavailability: Absolute bioavailability in 12 adult subjects was 86% ± 16% (mean ± SD) for the 150-mg tablet and 87% ± 13% for the oral solution. After oral administration of 2 mg per kg twice a day to 9 adults with HIV-1, the peak serum lamivudine concentration (Cmax ) was 1.5 ± 0.5 mcg per mL (mean ± SD). The area under the plasma concentration versus time curve (AUC) and Cmax increased in proportion to oral dose over the range from 0.25 to 10 mg per kg.

The accumulation ratio of lamivudine in HIV-1-positive asymptomatic adults with normal renal function was 1.50 following 15 days of oral administration of 2 mg per kg twice daily.

Effects of Food on Oral Absorption: Lamivudine tablets and oral solution may be administered with or without food. An investigational 25-mg dosage form of lamivudine was administered orally to 12 asymptomatic, HIV-1-infected subjects on 2 occasions, once in the fasted state and once with food (1,099 kcal; 75 grams fat, 34 grams protein, 72 grams carbohydrate). Absorption of lamivudine was slower in the fed state (Tmax : 3.2 ± 1.3 hours) compared with the fasted state (Tmax : 0.9 ± 0.3 hours); Cmax in the fed state was 40% ± 23% (mean ± SD) lower than in the fasted state. There was no significant difference in systemic exposure (AUC ) in the fed and fasted states.

Distribution: The apparent volume of distribution after IV administration of lamivudine to 20 subjects was 1.3 ± 0.4 L per kg, suggesting that lamivudine distributes into extravascular spaces. Volume of distribution was independent of dose and did not correlate with body weight.

Binding of lamivudine to human plasma proteins is less than 36%. In vitro studies showed that over the concentration range of 0.1 to 100 mcg per mL, the amount of lamivudine associated with erythrocytes ranged from 53% to 57% and was independent of concentration.

Metabolism: Metabolism of lamivudine is a minor route of elimination. In humans, the only known metabolite of lamivudine is the trans-sulfoxide metabolite (approximately 5% of an oral dose after 12 hours). Serum concentrations of this metabolite have not been determined. Lamivudine is not significantly metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes.

Elimination: The majority of lamivudine is eliminated unchanged in urine by active organic cationic secretion. In 9 healthy subjects given a single 300-mg oral dose of lamivudine, renal clearance was 199.7 ± 56.9 mL per min (mean ± SD). In 20 HIV-1-infected subjects given a single IV dose, renal clearance was 280.4 ± 75.2 mL per min (mean ± SD), representing 71% ± 16% (mean ± SD) of total clearance of lamivudine.

In most single-dose trials in HIV-1-infected subjects, HBV-infected subjects, or healthy subjects with serum sampling for 24 hours after dosing, the observed mean elimination half-life (t1/2 ) ranged from 5 to 7 hours. In HIV-1-infected subjects, total clearance was 398.5 ± 69.1 mL per min (mean ± SD). Oral clearance and elimination half-life were independent of dose and body weight over an oral dosing range of 0.25 to 10 mg per kg.

Specific Populations

Patients with Renal Impairment: The pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine have been determined in a small group of HIV-1-infected adults with impaired renal function (Table 7).

Table 7. Pharmacokinetic Parameters (Mean ± SD) after a Single 300-mg Oral Dose of Lamivudine in 3 Groups of Adults with Varying Degrees of Renal Function


Creatinine Clearance Criterion (Number of Subjects)

>60 mL/min (n = 6)

10-30 mL/min (n = 4)

<10 mL/min (n = 6)

Creatinine clearance (mL/min)

111 ± 14

28 ± 8

6 ± 2

Cmax (mcg/mL)

2.6 ± 0.5

3.6 ± 0.8

5.8 ± 1.2

AUC (mcg•hr/mL)

11.0 ± 1.7

48.0 ± 19

157 ± 74

Cl/F (mL/min)

464 ± 76

114 ± 34

36 ± 11

Tmax was not significantly affected by renal function. Based on these observations, it is recommended that the dosage of lamivudine be modified in patients with renal impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)].

Based on a trial in otherwise healthy subjects with impaired renal function, hemodialysis increased lamivudine clearance from a mean of 64 to 88 mL per min; however, the length of time of hemodialysis (4 hours) was insufficient to significantly alter mean lamivudine exposure after a single-dose administration. Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis and automated peritoneal dialysis have negligible effects on lamivudine clearance. Therefore, it is recommended, following correction of dose for creatinine clearance, that no additional dose modification be made after routine hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.

The effects of renal impairment on lamivudine pharmacokinetics in pediatric patients are not known.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment: The pharmacokinetic properties of lamivudine have been determined in adults with impaired hepatic function. Pharmacokinetic parameters were not altered by diminishing hepatic function. Safety and efficacy of lamivudine have not been established in the presence of decompensated liver disease.

Pregnant Women: Lamivudine pharmacokinetics were studied in 36 pregnant women during 2 clinical trials conducted in South Africa. Lamivudine pharmacokinetics in pregnant women were similar to those seen in non-pregnant adults and in postpartum women. Lamivudine concentrations were generally similar in maternal, neonatal, and umbilical cord serum samples.

Pediatric Patients: The pharmacokinetics of lamivudine have been studied after either single or repeat doses of lamivudine in 210 pediatric subjects. Pediatric subjects receiving lamivudine oral solution (dosed at approximately 8 mg per kg per day) achieved approximately 25% lower plasma concentrations of lamivudine compared with HIV-1-infected adults. Pediatric subjects receiving lamivudine oral tablets achieved plasma concentrations comparable to or slightly higher than those observed in adults. The absolute bioavailability of both lamivudine tablets and oral solution are lower in children than adults. The relative bioavailability of lamivudine oral solution is approximately 40% lower than tablets containing lamivudine in pediatric subjects despite no difference in adults. Lower lamivudine exposures in pediatric patients receiving lamivudine oral solution is likely due to the interaction between lamivudine and concomitant solutions containing sorbitol (such as ZIAGEN). Modeling of pharmacokinetic data suggests increasing the dosage of lamivudine oral solution to 5 mg per kg taken orally twice daily or 10 mg per kg taken orally once daily (up to a maximum of 300 mg daily) is needed to achieve sufficient concentrations of lamivudine [see Dosage and Administration (2.2)]. There are no clinical data in HIV-1 infected pediatric patients coadministered with sorbitol-containing medicines at this dose.

Distribution of lamivudine into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was assessed in 38 pediatric subjects after multiple oral dosing with lamivudine. CSF samples were collected between 2 and 4 hours postdose. At the dose of 8 mg per kg per day, CSF lamivudine concentrations in 8 subjects ranged from 5.6% to 30.9% (mean ± SD of 14.2% ± 7.9%) of the concentration in a simultaneous serum sample, with CSF lamivudine concentrations ranging from 0.04 to 0.3 mcg per mL.

Limited, uncontrolled pharmacokinetic and safety data are available from administration of lamivudine (and zidovudine) to 36 infants aged up to 1 week in 2 trials in South Africa. In these trials, lamivudine clearance was substantially reduced in 1-week-old neonates relative to pediatric subjects (aged over 3 months) studied previously. There is insufficient information to establish the time course of changes in clearance between the immediate neonatal period and the age-ranges over 3 months old [see Adverse Reactions (6.1)].

Additional pediatric use information for patients aged 3 months and above is approved for ViiV Healthcare Company’s EPIVIR® (lamivudine) tablets and oral solution. However, due to ViiV Healthcare Company’s marketing exclusivity rights, this drug product is not labeled with that pediatric information.

Geriatric Patients: The pharmacokinetics of lamivudine after administration of lamivudine to subjects over 65 years have not been studied [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].

Male and Female Patients: There are no significant or clinically relevant gender differences in lamivudine pharmacokinetics.

Racial Groups: There are no significant or clinically relevant racial differences in lamivudine pharmacokinetics.

Drug Interaction Studies

Effect of Lamivudine on the Pharmacokinetics of Other Agents: Based on in vitro study results, lamivudine at therapeutic drug exposures is not expected to affect the pharmacokinetics of drugs that are substrates of the following transporters: organic anion transporter polypeptide 1B1/3 (OATP1B1/3), breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug and toxin extrusion protein 1 (MATE)1, MATE2-K, organic cation transporter 1 (OCT)1, OCT2, or OCT3.

Effect of Other Agents on the Pharmacokinetics of Lamivudine: Lamivudine is a substrate of MATE1, MATE2-K, and OCT2 in vitro. Trimethoprim (an inhibitor of these drug transporters) has been shown to increase lamivudine plasma concentrations. This interaction is not considered clinically significant as no dose adjustment of lamivudine is needed.

Lamivudine is a substrate of P-gp and BCRP; however, considering its absolute bioavailability (87%), it is unlikely that these transporters play a significant role in the absorption of lamivudine. Therefore, coadministration of drugs that are inhibitors of these efflux transporters is unlikely to affect the disposition and elimination of lamivudine.

Interferon Alfa: There was no significant pharmacokinetic interaction between lamivudine and interferon alfa in a trial of 19 healthy male subjects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Ribavirin: In vitro data indicate ribavirin reduces phosphorylation of lamivudine, stavudine, and zidovudine. However, no pharmacokinetic (e.g., plasma concentrations or intracellular triphosphorylated active metabolite concentrations) or pharmacodynamic (e.g., loss of HIV-1/HCV virologic suppression) interaction was observed when ribavirin and lamivudine (n = 18), stavudine (n = 10), or zidovudine (n = 6) were coadministered as part of a multi-drug regimen to HIV-1/HCV co-infected subjects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Sorbitol (Excipient): Lamivudine and sorbitol solutions were coadministered to 16 healthy adult subjects in an open-label, randomized-sequence, 4-period, crossover trial. Each subject received a single 300-mg dose of lamivudine oral solution alone or coadministered with a single dose of 3.2 grams, 10.2 grams, or 13.4 grams of sorbitol in solution. Coadministration of lamivudine with sorbitol resulted in dose-dependent decreases of 20%, 39%, and 44% in the AUC(0-24), 14%, 32%, and 36% in the AUC(∞) , and 28%, 52%, and 55% in the Cmax ; of lamivudine, respectively.

Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole: Lamivudine and TMP/SMX were coadministered to 14 HIV-1- positive subjects in a single-center, open-label, randomized, crossover trial. Each subject received treatment with a single 300-mg dose of lamivudine and TMP 160 mg/SMX 800 mg once a day for 5 days with concomitant administration of lamivudine 300 mg with the fifth dose in a crossover design. Coadministration of TMP/SMX with lamivudine resulted in an increase of 43% ± 23% (mean ± SD) in lamivudine AUC , a decrease of 29% ± 13% in lamivudine oral clearance, and a decrease of 30% ± 36% in lamivudine renal clearance. The pharmacokinetic properties of TMP and SMX were not altered by coadministration with lamivudine. There is no information regarding the effect on lamivudine pharmacokinetics of higher doses of TMP/SMX such as those used in treat PCP.

Zidovudine: No clinically significant alterations in lamivudine or zidovudine pharmacokinetics were observed in 12 asymptomatic HIV-1-infected adult subjects given a single dose of zidovudine (200 mg) in combination with multiple doses of lamivudine (300 mg every 12 hours).

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