See also Warning section. Entecavir is used to treat long-term hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. Long-term infection can cause liver damage, rarely liver cancer, and liver failure. Entecavir helps to decrease the amount of hepatitis B virus in your body. It is unknown if this medication lowers your chance of getting liver cancer or liver damage. Entecavir is an antiviral that belongs to a class of drugs known as hepatitis B virus nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Entecavir is not a cure for hepatitis B. It does not prevent the spread of the virus to others through sexual contact or blood/body fluid contamination (such as sharing used needles).
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking entecavir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth on an empty stomach (at least 2 hours after a meal and 2 hours before the next meal) as directed by your doctor, usually once daily.
If you are taking entecavir oral liquid, carefully measure your dose with the medicine spoon provided. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose. Swallow the medicine directly from the measuring spoon. Do not mix the medication with water or other liquids. Rinse the spoon with water after each use.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.
It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not skip any doses.
This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Doing so may cause the amount of virus to increase, make the infection more difficult to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects. See also Warning section.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.
The liver is located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm, and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines.
Shaped like a cone, the liver is a dark reddish-brown organ that weighs about 3 pounds.
There are 2 distinct sources that supply blood to the liver, including the following:
Oxygenated blood flows in from the hepatic artery
Nutrient-rich blood flows in from the hepatic portal vein
The liver holds about one pint (13%) of the body’s blood supply at any given moment. The liver consists of 2 main lobes. Both are made up of 8 segments that consist of 1,000 lobules (small lobes). These lobules are connected to small ducts (tubes) that connect with larger ducts to form the common hepatic duct.
The liver regulates most chemical levels in the blood and excretes a product called bile. This helps carry away waste products from the liver. All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver. The liver processes this blood and breaks down, balances, and creates the nutrients and also metabolizes drugs into forms that are easier to use for the rest of the body or that are nontoxic. More than 500 vital functions have been identified with the liver. Some of the more well-known functions include the following:
Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion
Production of certain proteins for blood plasma
Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body
Conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage (glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy) and to balance and make glucose as needed