Entecavir is a nucleoside analogue of 2-deoxyguanosine whose intracellular triphosphate form inhibits replication of the hepatitis B virus. Entecavir is recommended as a first-line monotherapy option for nucleos(t)ide-naïve patients with HBeAg-positive or -negative chronic hepatitis B infection. Entecavir has a three-step mechanism of action: It maintains viral suppression with a greater than 90% chance of undetectable hepatitis B virus DNA during continuous therapy, improves liver histology, and reduces the risk of liver failure or hepatocellular carcinoma development. The safety profile of long-term entecavir therapy is favorable; however, its optimal treatment duration is unknown. Entecavir monotherapy is not a rescue option for patients with lamivudine/adefovir resistance or baseline lamivudine-resistant mutants; rather, combination treatment is recommended for patients with lamivudine/adefovir resistance.
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