Adefovir : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More

Do not stop taking adefovir without talking to your doctor. When you stop taking adefovir, your hepatitis may get worse. This is more likely to happen in the first 3 months after you stop taking adefovir. Be careful not to skip doses or run out of adefovir. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease other than hepatitis B or cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). If you experience any of the following symptoms after you stop taking adefovir, call your doctor immediately: extreme tiredness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, light colored stools, and muscle or joint pain.

Adefovir can cause kidney damage. Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking or have ever taken any of the following medications: aminoglycoside antibiotics such as amikacin, gentamicin, kanamycin, neomycin, streptomycin, and tobramycin (Tobi,); aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); tacrolimus (Prograf); or vancomycin If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately: confusion; decreased urination or swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs.

If you have HIV or AIDS that is not being treated with medication and are taking adefovir, your HIV infection can be difficult to treat. Tell your doctor if you have HIV or AIDS or if you have unprotected sex with more than one partner or if you use injection drugs. Your doctor may test you for HIV infection before you start treatment with adefovir and at any time during your treatment when there is a possibility that you have been exposed to HIV.

Adefovir, when used alone or in combination with other antiviral medications, can cause serious or life-threatening liver damage and a condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up 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 medicines 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: confusion; unusual bleeding or bruising; yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark colored urine; light-colored bowel movements; labored breathing; stomach pain or bloating; nausea; vomiting unusual muscle pain; loss of appetite for at least a few days; lack of energy; flu-like symptoms; itching; cold feeling, especially in the arms or legs; dizziness or lightheadedness; fast or irregular heartbeat; or extreme weakness or tiredness.

Keep all appointments with your doctor and laboratory before, during, and for a few months after your adefovir treatment. Your doctor will order certain laboratory tests to check your body’s response to adefovir during this time.

Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking adefovir.

Why is this medication prescribed?
Adefovir is used to treat chronic (long-term) hepatitis B infection (inflammation of the liver caused by a virus) in adults and children 12 years of age and older. Adefovir belongs to a class of medications called nucleotide analogs. It works by decreasing the amount of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the body. Adefovir will not cure hepatitis B and may not prevent complications of chronic hepatitis B, such as liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Adefovir may not prevent the spread of hepatitis B to other people.

How should this medicine be used?
Adefovir comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take adefovir 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 adefovir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking adefovir,

•  Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to adefovir; any other medication; or any of the ingredients in adefovir tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.

•  Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section and lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epivir-HBV, Epzicom, Triumeq, or Trizivir) or tenofovir (Viread, in Atripla, in Complera, in Stribild, in Truvada). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Do not take any other medicine while you are taking adefovir unless your doctor has told you to.

•  Do not take adefovir if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking adefovir, call your doctor. Do not breastfeed while taking adefovir.

•  If you are going to have surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking adefovir.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you remember the missed dose the day you were supposed to take it, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if you do not remember the missed dose until the next day, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take more than one dose of adefovir on the same day. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Adefovir may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • weakness
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • gas
  • indigestion
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • rash

Adefovir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medicine.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor can submit an online report to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program ( or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in its container, tightly closed and out of the reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is important to keep all medications out of the sight and reach of children, as many containers (such as those for taking pills weekly and those used for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not resistant to children and children. young children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately put the medicine in a safe place, one that is up and away and out of your sight and reach.

Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in a special way to ensure that pets, children and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to get rid of your medication is through a medication take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local recycling / garbage department to find out about return programs in your community. Consult the FDA’s Safe Drug Disposal website ( for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or cannot wake up, call 911 immediately.

Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • upset stomach
  • stomach discomfort

What other information should I know?
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important to keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should carry 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.

Brand names

  • Hepsera

Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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