Entecavir-side effects -poor digestion


I am from Romania and I have been on Enetcavir since 2008. For a few years, my viremia has been undetectable, but I haven’t developed the antibodies, therefore, my doctor said I should continue with Entecavir. I have experienced many of the side effects including insomnia, depression, and hair loss, but the most painful and uneasy to take is the poor digestion. I mean, from time to time, my stomach won’t do its job, and the food could stay there undigested for 12 hours, so I have to throw up to clean it. Sometimes, the food is somehow digested, but not completely, leading to diarrhoea. I don’t know what to do. My sonogram and my CT are ok. My lab analysis, too. Has anyone been confronted with a similar situation?
Thanks a lot!

Hi @Chitini,
Welcome to the community and thanks for sharing your experience. I am unsure what you mean by you have been taking entecavir but haven’t developed antibodies? For chronic infections, you don’t develop antibodies by taking antivirals. People with acute infections once cleared or those vaccinated will develop antibodies but not someone with a chronic infection.

I was on entecavir for a number of years and I never experienced anything to what you are describing. From a little research it shows that it can cause indigestion and hair loss in some patients (not very common among patients). I will recommend you have a conversation with your provider as soon as you can about this and see whether it is possible to switch. Sorry to read about you having to deal with all these issues. Best and keep us posted. Bansah1

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yes but it wasnt the antiviral my body started to NOT tollerate refined carbs and sugars less and less, so i simply stopped all refined carbs and sugars and everything cleared, in particular chronic throat ache, sinus and cough from acid reflux…i remember they found undigested food from days although i had a long fast prior to examination when i had gastroscopy…so i am in a ketogenic diet since 2015 and if i cheat with a pizza to eat with friends or other carbs i get inflamed/reflux for days…anyway i dont miss it that is not real food to me

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Dear Alice,

I’m sorry to hear about the side effects you’ve been experiencing while taking Entecavir. Poor digestion can be very uncomfortable and disruptive to daily life. It’s good to hear that your sonogram, CT, and lab analysis are all normal, but it’s still important to address this issue with your doctor.

There are a few things you can do to try to improve your digestion. First, try to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. This can help your stomach digest food more easily. Additionally, avoid foods that are high in fat or difficult to digest, such as fried foods, spicy foods, and dairy products.

You might also consider taking a probiotic supplement to help improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut. This can help with digestion and overall gut health. It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements, though, to make sure they won’t interact with your medication or cause any other issues.

Finally, if your symptoms persist or become worse, you should definitely talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your medication or offer other treatments to help improve your digestion.

I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best



Thanks for sharing your experience! So you had these side effects because of what substance? I didn’t understand…sorry…

no side effects from drugs, my body just refused those artificial foods…same thing happened to my sister with a more severe food intolerance due to leaky gut she can risk to dye eating some foods