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What Is Telbivudine Used For?

If you have long-term hepatitis B and are developing signs of liver damage, you may receive a medication called telbivudine. This prescription drug cannot cure hepatitis B, but it can help prevent the virus from multiplying and reduce damage to the liver. It is approved only for use in people age 16 and older. At this time, there are no widely accepted off-label (unapproved) uses for telbivudine.

An Overview of Uses for Telbivudine

Telbivudine (Tyzeka®) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of long-term (chronic) hepatitis B in people who have signs of liver damage. It belongs to a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTIs are also sometimes called nucleoside analogues.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver caused by an infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is one of several types of hepatitis viral infections. Other types include hepatitis A, hepatitis C, and hepatitis D.
Hepatitis B infection is spread through contact with infected bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. The virus can also be passed from an infected mother to an infant during childbirth (see Hepatitis B Transmission for more information on common ways people may become infected with the hepatitis B virus).
When someone first becomes infected with hepatitis B, the virus begins to multiply in the liver. About 30 to 180 days later, a person may develop symptoms of hepatitis B. Not everyone who becomes infected will have symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can range from mild to severe and often resemble flu-like symptoms (see Hepatitis B Symptoms for specific symptoms that may occur).
If the body is able to fight off the infection, symptoms will gradually subside and disappear within a couple of months. However, for some people, the body is not able to completely get rid of the virus. These people develop a long-term infection called chronic hepatitis B, which can lead to chronic liver disease, liver scarring, and liver cancer.
Telbivudine is approved to treat chronic hepatitis B infections when the virus is replicating (reproducing in the body). It is used in people who have active liver damage. Telbivudine will not cure a hepatitis B infection. However, it may reduce the amount of virus in the body and slow down or prevent liver damage.

Telbivudine Drug Information

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