Complera vs. Isentress

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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(Emtricitabine / Rilpivirine / Tenofovir)


Coming soon.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. This is the first medication approved as an Integrase Inhibitor (InSTI), so it may be a great, but somewhat expensive, option for people who have already tried other drugs and need another option.
How it works
Coming soon.Isentress stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body by preventing the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.
Type of medication
Coming soon.
Coming soon.Prescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
  • HIV infection
  • HIV infection
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for Complera side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Complera »

We haven’t found good data for Isentress side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Isentress »
Risk factors for serious side effects
Coming soon.
  • Prior severe allergic reaction to Isentress
  • Prior severe allergic reaction to Isentress
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Certain drugs can increase the dose of Isentress in the body
  • HIV
  • Exposure to other infections
  • Start of a new HIV medication
  • Change in HIV therapy
Detailed Isentress (Raltegravir) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
No specific food-related info.
  • Take Isentress with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
  • Combining certain medications can increase the risk of muscle pain (myopathy), muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis), and kidney damage. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist when taking any new medications.
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
Coming soon.
  • If having difficulty swallowing the tablet, consider the chewable tablet or oral suspension.
  • Only one tablet taken two times a day.
  • Can be used for kids 4 weeks and older.
  • May be helpful if other HIV drugs have stopped working since Isentress works differently than most HIV drugs.
Downsides and risks
Coming soon.
  • Tablets, chewable tablets, and the oral suspension all have different doses, so talk to your doctor if you want to switch from one to another.
  • The oral suspension has to be taken within 30 minutes of mixing it.
  • Avoid taking antacids that contain aluminum and/or magnesium while taking Isentress.
  • Let your doctor know right away if while taking Isentress you begin to feel unexplained muscle pain.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Coming soon.
  • Set two times during the day, one in the morning and one in the evening that you will remember to take Isentress.
  • Take Isentress with or without food.
  • Isentress can make you tired, so avoid other medications or drinks that will add to the problem.
  • If being used for kids, the dose of Isentress will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
Learn more
More about CompleraSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
More about IsentressSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert