What is the role of lamivudine (3TC) in the treatment of hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B)?

Updated: Aug 01, 2018
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

A nucleoside analogue, 3TC inhibits the viral polymerase. It appears to be effective in patients who do not have a treatment response to IFN-a (eg, patients infected by the precore mutant virus). However, its role in hepatitis B treatment is diminishing as alternate therapies become available [19] ; thus, this agent is a third-line therapy and not preferred.

Other agents, except for adefovir, are superior to 3TC in suppression of viral replication. Another disadvantage to this therapy includes its high rate of drug resistance. [19] Relative to other oral treatments, however, 3TC is lower in cost.


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