Entecavir can cause serious or life-threatening damage to the liver and a condition called lactic acidosis (a buildup of acid in the blood). The risk that you will develop lactic acidosis may be higher if you are a woman, if you are overweight, or if you have been treated with medications for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection for a long time. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark-colored urine; light-colored bowel movements; difficulty breathing; stomach pain or swelling; nausea; vomiting; unusual muscle pain; loss of appetite for at least several days; lack of energy; extreme weakness or tiredness; feeling cold, especially in the arms or legs; dizziness or lightheadedness; or fast or irregular heartbeat.
Do not stop taking entecavir without talking to your doctor. When you stop taking entecavir, your hepatitis may get worse. This is most likely to happen during the first several months after you stop taking entecavir. Take entecavir exactly as directed. Be careful not to miss doses or run out of entecavir.If you experience any of the following symptoms after you stop taking entecavir, call your doctor immediately: extreme tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark-colored urine, light-colored bowel movements, or muscle or joint pain.
If you have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) that is not being treated with medications and you take entecavir, your HIV infection may become more difficult to treat. Tell your doctor if you have HIV or AIDS or if there is a chance that you have been exposed to HIV. Your doctor may test you for HIV infection before you begin treatment with entecavir and at any time during your treatment if there is a chance that you have been exposed to HIV. Entecavir will not treat HIV infection.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory before, during, and for a few months after your treatment with entecavir. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body's response to entecavir during this time.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking entecavir.
Entecavir is used to treat chronic (long-term) hepatitis B infection (swelling of the liver caused by a virus) in adults and children 2 years of age and older who have liver damage. Entecavir is in a class of medications called nucleoside analogs. It works by decreasing the amount of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the body. Entecavir does not cure HBV and may not prevent complications of chronic hepatitis B such as cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. Entecavir does not prevent the spread of HBV to other people.
Entecavir comes as a tablet and solution (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours after a meal and at least 2 hours before the next meal. Take entecavir at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take entecavir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
To use the entecavir oral solution, follow these steps:
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking entecavir,
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Entecavir may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if this symptom is severe or does not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the symptoms listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately.
Entecavir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children and pets. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat, light, and moisture (not in the bathroom medicine cabinet or near the kitchen sink).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
Selected Revisions: May 15, 2018.