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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking entecavir (Baraclude)?
You should not take this medication if you are allergic to entecavir, or if you also have HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) that is not being treated.
If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication. Before you take entecavir, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking entecavir. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you have liver or kidney disease, congestive heart failure, or if you drink large amounts of alcohol. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether entecavir is harmful to an unborn baby. Before you take entecavir, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry when you start using this medication.
It is not known whether entecavir passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take entecavir (Baraclude)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
You may be required to be tested for HIV before you start taking entecavir. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Take entecavir with a full glass of water.
Take entecavir on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours before or 2 hours after eating.
Measure the liquid form (oral solution) of entecavir with the dosing spoon provided with this medication. Hold the dosing spoon in an upright position and fill it slowly until the liquid reaches the mark of your correct dose. Rinse the dosing spoon with water after each use. If you do not receive a dosing spoon with your medication, ask your pharmacist for one.
Some people with hepatitis B develop liver symptoms after they stop taking entecavir, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function on a regular basis for several months after you stop using this medication. Do not miss any scheduled visits.
Store entecavir at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep the tablets in a tightly-closed container.
Keep the bottle of oral liquid in its original carton to help protect the medicine from light. Throw away any unused entecavir oral liquid after the expiration date on the label has passed.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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