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Molecule Description

Entecavir is an ‘antiviral’ medicine used in the treatment of long standing (chr...
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    Side effects
    Precautions and Warnings
    Mode of Action
    Dietary Restrictions

Uses of Entecavir

  • This medicine is used to treat chronic (long-standing) Hepatitis B infection of the liver caused by a specific virus called Hepatitis B Virus
  • This medicine can be used in all stages of the infection – mild and moderate (compensated) or severe, life-threatening (decompensated) liver disease
  • Entecavir can be used in Hepatitis B patients in whom the virus is actively replicating (HBe-Antigen positive) or in the patients in whom the virus is not active (HBe-Antigen negative)
  • Entecavir can be used in adults, adolescents and children above 2 years of age

Contraindications of Entecavir

When should one not use Entecavir

Allergy to Entecavir or any of the components of the medicine.

Side effects of Entecavir

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Nausea (feeling sick), vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, headache, skin rash, fatigue, dizziness or sleep problems (no sleep or excess sleep), indigestion, increased liver enzymes (common)
  • Hair loss, rashes (uncommon)
  • Severe allergic reaction causing facial swelling, breathing and swallowing difficulty, with or without rashes, itching, skin blisters (rare, but serious)

Precautions and Warnings of Entecavir



Can I take Entecavir during pregnancy?
Entecavir has the potential to harm the unborn baby and should be used in pregnant women only if it is necessary and cannot be replaced.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Entecavir while breastfeeding?
It is unknown if Entecavir is secreted in breast milk. To avoid any risk to the baby, it is advised not to take this medicine while breastfeeding.


Can I drive if I have consumed Entecavir?
Not enough data is available to suggest if Entecavir affects the ability to drive. But it can cause side effects such as dizziness, tiredness or sleepiness and caution is advised if you experience any such symptoms.


Can I consume alcohol with Entecavir?
Alcohol affects the liver and will stop the liver from recovering and aggravate the Hepatitis B infection. Hence it is strictly recommended to avoid alcohol.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • You have kidney or liver disease
  • You are also infected with HIV/AIDS
  • You have received treatment previously for Hepatitis B
  • Avoid having direct sex (use proper and efficient methods of protection)
  • Do not stop taking this medicine suddenly on your own
  • Entecavir should not be used in children below 2 years

Mode of Action of Entecavir

How Does It Work?

Entecavir acts by interfering with the replication or multiplication process of the Hepatitis B Virus, reduces the viral load in the blood significantly and reduces the damage to the liver.

Interactions of Entecavir

Interactions with other medicines

Inform your doctor of all the medicines you are taking before starting or during the treatment.

Interactions with food items

  • If you are taking Entecavir for the first time or you have mild to moderate liver disease, you can take Entecavir with or without food
  • But if you had previous treatment for Hepatitis B or you have severe liver disease, it is advised to take Entecavir on an empty stomach

Dietary Restrictions of Entecavir

No information is available on dietary restrictions while you are taking Entecavir, consult your doctor or pharmacist for further information.

Dosage of Entecavir


Unintentional overdose is unlikely to be harmful. But inform your doctor if you experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, etc. High overdose will require immediate medical att...
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Missed a Dose

Entecavir is usually given once a day. If you miss a dose, take medicine as soon as you remember the missed dose.  If it is almost time for your next dose, don’t take the missed dose and go back to th...
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Content Details


Dr. Nikita Toshi

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery)


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: Is Hepatitis B curable?

  • No, Hepatitis B is not curable in most cases. A small percentage of patients get cured completely
  • But it is not a cause to worry because high quality and effective medicines like Entecavir are available, which can control the disease and will not allow the virus to multiply. Low viral load means l...
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  • Once your viral load is under control for some time, you can also stop the treatment and live a healthy life
  • Periodic visits to the doctor and blood tests are required
  • Hepatitis B virus is transmitted through blood or body fluids while having sex or during baby birth, etc. Hence, it is advised to use effective forms of protection while having sex or during delivery
  • Importantly, a vaccine is available and it should be given to the people living near and around the patient, which will reduce their chances of contracting the infection drastically

Q: What else should I know before taking Entecavir?

  • Entecavir is a very effective medicine if you are taking it for the first time. It controls the infection well and does not allow the virus to multiply
  • Entecavir is also a safe medicine and can be taken for long periods without any unwanted effects
  • Lactic acidosis (increased levels of lactic acid in the blood) is a rare problem causing stomach pain, vomiting, and occurs commonly in overweight women. Be careful if this applies to you
  • Some medicines are used to treat both HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B infections interchangeably
  • Remember not to use Entecavir for any condition other than Hepatitis B, under medical supervision
  • This medicine should not be used in children below 2 years of age
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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