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Hepsera and the generic alternative Adefovir Dipovoxil is a prescription strength antiviral medicine prescribed to treat hepatitis B, which is the medical term for inflammation of the liver. For some people, hepatitis B infection becomes chronic, which means that it lasts more than six months. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Having chronic hepatitis B increases your risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis — a condition that causes permanent scarring of the liver. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B may include joint pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes.
The hepatitis B virus infects your liver, causing damage as the virus multiplies. When taken as directed by your physician, Hepsera blocks the action of an enzyme called viral DNA polymerase. This compound is essential in order for the virus to multiply. You can achieve improved liver function and reduce the damage done to your liver, but Adefovir Dipovoxil generic or Hepsera will not cure chronic hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B is a noncytopathic virus which means it is not the virus itself that causes liver cell damage. Instead, it is your immune system’s destructive response to the virus that is causing inflammation and liver damage. Hepatitis B virus can be passed on to others through blood and other bodily fluids so you must take precautions to prevent it from infecting others. You should not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes.
For those with acute (short-lived) hepatitis B infection, your immune system is able to clear the virus from your body. Recovery is possible within several months and you can be considered non-contagious and cured. There is a vaccine available to prevent hep B, so ask your doctor about who should have it and when.
Some medications can interact negatively when combined with Hepsera. These include chemotherapy drugs and antibiotics, as well as certain pain medications, and must be taken only as directed by your doctor. Advise your doctor if you are pregnant or breast feeding before taking Hepsera. You will need to use proper protection if you are sexually active as you are still contagious.
Your doctor should know whether you have liver disease or kidney disease before you start taking Hepsera. They should also be made aware if you have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, as the medication may lower the efficacy of HIV/AIDS drugs. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any muscle pain or weakness during treatment, especially when combined with numbness, stomach pain, and difficult breathing; these may signal a serious problem called lactic acidosis.