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Entecavir is an antiviral medication targeting hepatitis B virus replication.

Last Modified: 17 May 2024

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What is Entecavir? 

Entecavir is an antiviral medication targeting hepatitis B virus replication. 

Global Name

Generic name: Entecavir
Brand name: Baraclude


What is Entecavir used for? 

Entecavir treats chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in adults and children 2 years and older. 

How do you use Entecavir? 

Availability: Oral tablets, oral solution. 

Dosage information: 

  • Adults: Typically, 0.5 mg to 1 mg once daily. 
  • Children (2 years and older): Dosing based on weight. 


When considering Entecavir for hepatitis B treatment, it's essential to evaluate its appropriateness for different groups to ensure safety and efficacy: 
  • Children: Approved for use in children aged 2 years and older, Entecavir's dosage for pediatric patients is calculated based on body weight. Its safety and effectiveness have been established in this group, although long-term effects on growth and development are still being studied. 
  • Adults: Entecavir is a primary treatment option for adults diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B. Adult dosing is straightforward, often starting at 0.5 mg to 1 mg once daily, depending on whether the patient has been previously treated with other antiviral medications or has developed resistance to such treatments. 
  • Elderlies: Older adults can use Entecavir without specific age-related restrictions. However, since kidney function declines with age, careful monitoring of renal function is crucial, and dosage adjustments may be necessary to prevent accumulation of the drug and potential toxicity. 
  • Pregnancy: Entecavir should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. There is limited data on the drug's use in pregnant women, so healthcare providers will weigh the risks of untreated hepatitis B against the possible risks of treatment. 
  • Lactation: Nursing mothers should be cautious with Entecavir use, as it's not well established how much of the drug passes into breast milk. Consult with a healthcare provider for advice.  


  • Allergies: To Entecavir or its components. 
  • Medical Conditions: HIV infection as standalone treatment (unless also receiving HIV treatment, consult with your doctor for advice). 

May elevate lactic acid/blood sugar; monitor liver function during treatment. 

Entecavir can interact with medications that affect kidney function. 

Side Effects

Possible side effects include headache, fatigue, and dizziness. 

Pharmacist Tips

When handling and storing Entecavir, it's important to follow these guidelines to maintain the medication's effectiveness and ensure safety: 

  • Storage: Keep Entecavir in its original container, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature, away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). If you have the oral solution, do not freeze it and throw away any unused medication after the expiration date. 
  • Consistency in Administration: For optimal results, take Entecavir at the same time each day to maintain consistent blood levels of the medication. This helps to control the virus more effectively. 
  • On an Empty Stomach: Entecavir should be taken on an empty stomach to enhance absorption. Ideally, take it 2 hours before or after eating. 
  • Monitoring: Regular visits to your healthcare provider for blood tests are necessary to monitor your hepatitis B virus levels, liver function, and kidney function, particularly if you have pre-existing liver or kidney issues. 
  • Avoid Alcohol: Since alcohol can increase the risk of liver damage, it is advised to limit or avoid alcohol consumption while taking Entecavir. 
  • Medication Review: Always inform your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements, to avoid potential interactions. 
  • Instructions for Missed Dose: If you miss a dose of Entecavir, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. 
  • Disposal: If you need to dispose of Entecavir, do not pour it down the drain or throw it in the bin. Instead, use a medication take-back program if available, or follow the FDA's guidelines for proper disposal to help prevent harm to others and the environment. 


Where is Entecavir available in Hong Kong?

Entecavir is a prescription medication that can be prescribed by healthcare providers.


Is Entecavir available over-the-counter?

No, it's a prescription-only medication.

Can Entecavir cure hepatitis B?

It treats the infection but doesn't cure HBV.

Should Entecavir be taken with food?

It should be taken on an empty stomach; 2 hours before or after meals.

How long do I need to be on Entecavir?

The duration of entecavir treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection is typically long-term, often several years or indefinitely, as it controls the virus but does not cure the infection. The exact duration should be dependent on your immune suppressive treatment plan.

This website provides content related to drug use and medicine for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not use the information on this website to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare provider. The website's owners and contributors are not liable for any repercussions, adverse effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any medication or information provided herein.

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