Telbivudine

Telbivudine

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • General feeling of discomfort or illness
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Shivering
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Trouble with sleeping
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Vomiting

Less common

  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty with moving
  • Muscle cramping
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Muscle tenderness, wasting, or weakness
  • Pain
  • Pain in the extremity
  • Swollen joints

Rare

  • Burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • Indigestion
  • Loose stools
  • Stomach upset
  • Tenderness in the stomach area

Incidence not known

  • Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Muscle pain or spasms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleepiness

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Body aches or pain
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Ear congestion
  • Loss of voice
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose

Less common

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Belching
  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Rash
  • Sleeplessness
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Unable to sleep

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Precautions

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood or urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Two rare but serious reactions to this medicine are lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood) and liver toxicity, which includes an enlarged liver. These are more common if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking anti-HIV medicines for a long time. Call your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms: abdominal discomfort or cramping; dark urine; decreased appetite; diarrhea; a general feeling of discomfort; light-colored stools; muscle cramping or pain; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; trouble with breathing; vomiting; or yellow eyes or skin.

If you have muscle aches, pain, tenderness, or weakness after using this medicine, call your doctor right away. These could be symptoms of a condition called myopathy.

Check with your doctor right away if you are having burning, numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the arms, hands, legs, or feet. These could be symptoms of a condition called peripheral neuropathy.

Hepatitis B infection may become worse if treatment with telbivudine is stopped. Do not stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor.

This medicine will not keep you from giving the hepatitis B virus to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has hepatitis B. The male partner should use a latex condom during sex. Do not share needles and personal items, such as toothbrushes or razor blades, that can have blood or body fluids on them with anyone.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Proper Use

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of this medicine and do not take it more often than your doctor ordered. This medicine works best if there is a constant amount in the blood. To keep blood levels constant, take this medicine at the same time each day and do not miss any doses.

This medicine should come with a medication guide and patient information insert. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

You may take this medicine with or without food.

Measure the oral solution correctly using the marked dosing cup that comes with the package. Rinse the dosing cup with water after each use.

The oral solution contains sodium. Ask your doctor for advice if you are on a low sodium diet.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (solution or tablets):
    • For hepatitis B infection:
      • Adults and teenagers—600 milligrams (mg) or 30 milliliters (mL) once a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Throw away any unused oral solution 60 days after opening the bottle. Unused or outdated medicine should not be put directly in the trash can. Place it in a closed container first, such as a sealed bag, then into the household trash. You may also take it to a community take-back program when available.

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of telbivudine in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Geriatric

Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of telbivudine have not been performed in the geriatric population, geriatric-specific problems are not expected to limit the usefulness of telbivudine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving telbivudine.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters B Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
  • Myopathy (muscle aches, pain, weakness) or
  • Peripheral neuropathy (nerve disorder with numbness, tingling)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.

Description

Telbivudine is used to treat chronic infections with the hepatitis B virus. Telbivudine is not a cure for the hepatitis B virus, but it may lower the amount of virus in your body and may decrease the ability of the virus to multiply.

This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

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