Compare Descovy vs. Viread

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

Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide)

Prescription only
Works with other medicines to treat HIV.

Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is a first choice combination tablet that is used with other medications to treat HIV and is safe for your kidneys and bones.

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Also treats Hepatitis B Virus.

Viread (tenofovir) is a first-line choice to be used in combination with other medications to treat HIV. Viread (tenofovir) is also a first-line choice in treating HBV.

Upsides
  • Compared to Truvada (a similar drug formulation), Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is safe for your kidneys and bones.
  • Take only once daily, with or without food.
  • Children 12 years or older can take Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide).
  • Can be used with other medications to prevent HIV infection after an exposure.
  • Taken only once daily, with or without food.
  • There are newer formulations of Viread (tenofovir) available that are safer on your kidneys.
  • If tablets are hard for you to swallow, Viread (tenofovir) is available in a powder that's mixed with soft foods.
Downsides
  • Might worsen hepatitis B infections if you suddenly stop taking Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide).
  • Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is only approved to treat HIV, not to stop you from getting it.
  • Since Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is not a generic, it may be expensive.
  • Viread (tenofovir) can't be used on its own to treat HIV infection.
  • Not recommended for patients with kidney damage.
  • Can weaken your bones.
  • Might worsen hepatitis B infections if you suddenly stop taking it.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Powder
Price
Lowest price near you
$1612.02
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Lowest price near you
$1094.94
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Reviews
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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Nausea
    10%
See more detailed side effects
1possible side effects
  • Nausea
    9%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and warnings
  • Sudden worsening of Hepatitis B virus (HBV)

    Hepatitis B virus

  • Lactic acidosis and enlarged, fatty liver

    Liver disease

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Kidney damage

    History of kidney damage

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Weakened bones

    History of bone fractures

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Immune reconstitution syndrome

    HIV

    ...and 3 more risk factors

See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Lactic acidosis | Enlarged, fatty liver

    Liver disease

    ...and 2 more risk factors

  • Cannot be used to treat Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)

    Hepatitis B Virus infection

  • Mood and behavior changes

    History of mental illness

  • Decreased bone mineral density

    History of bone fractures

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Kidney damage

    History of kidney damage

    ...and 1 more risk factors

  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions

    Prior severe allergic reaction to Viread (tenofovir) or any of its individual drug components.

See more detailed risks and warnings