Lamivudine (Epivir) is approved for use by children aged over three months at a dose of 4mg/kg twice daily, to a maximum dose of 300mg per day. It is available as a solution or tablet. Scored tablets can be split according to weight.

In the US lamivudine can be used in infants under 30 days of age, dosed twice daily at 2mg/kg.

It was licensed for children following demonstration that adding lamivudine to zidovudine (Retrovir), didanosine (Videx) or a combination of zidovudine and didanosine resulted in CD4 cell count increases and reductions in viral load, and a lowered risk of disease progression and death.1 2 Once-daily lamivudine dosing may also be possible in children, although this is not an approved dosing regimen.3

Lamivudine should be used with caution in children with a history or risk of pancreatitis. It should not be used in combination with emtricitabine. Any patient with creatinine clearance of less than 50ml/minute or impaired hepatic function should not use Combivir, Trizivir, or Kivexa. Other side-effects are similar to those found in adults.

The formulation of Epivir-HBV is not sufficient for children who have HIV and hepatitis B co-infection, unless the child requires a 100mg lamivudine dose.


  1. McKinney RE et al. A randomized study of combined zidovudine-lamivudine versus didanosine monotherapy in children with symptomatic therapy-naive HIV-1 infection. J Pediatr 133: 500-508, 1998
  2. Pediatric European Network for Treatment of AIDS A randomized double-blind trial of the addition of lamivudine or matching placebo to current nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor therapy in HIV-infected children: the PENTA-4 trial. AIDS 12: F151-F160, 1998
  3. Bergshoeff A et al. Plasma pharmacokinetics of once- versus twice-daily lamivudine and abacavir: simplification of combination treatment in HIV-1-infected children (PENTA-13). Antivir Ther 10: 239-246, 2005
Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.