Compare Emtriva vs. Epivir

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

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection.

Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a first-line and commonly used drug that is taken in combination with other HIV medications to treat or prevent HIV.

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection or chronic hepatitis B.

Epivir (lamivudine) is a first-choice and commonly used medicine to take together with other HIV medications to treat HIV. It is also an alternative option for treating chronic hepatitis B.

Upsides
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a first-line drug option used in combination with other HIV medications to treat HIV.
  • Taken with or without food once a day.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is available in many combination tablets if you are looking to lower the number of pills you need to take daily for HIV treatment.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is available as a capsule as well as liquid form.
  • Epivir (lamivudine) can be used with many other HIV options to create a combination that's right for you.
  • Has very minimal interactions with other medications.
  • Available in tablet and liquid form.
  • Can be take once or twice a day. Also available in different combination pills so you don't have to take as many pills per day.
  • Available in cheaper generic form.
Downsides
  • Patients with kidney damage will need to be closely monitored by their doctors in order to provide an appropriate dose.
  • Cannot be used by itself to treat or prevent HIV infection.
  • Cannot take Epivir (lamivudine) by itself to treat HIV.
  • Might need to change dosage based on how well your kidneys function.
  • It is recommended to use other options to treat chronic hepatitis B before choosing Epivir (lamivudine) due to drug resistance.
  • You'll have to be tested for both HIV and hepatitis B, since the dose to treat hepatitis B is lower than the dose for HIV. If you have the lower dose, HIV can be harder to treat if you also have hepatitis B.
  • The liquid version of Epivir (lamivudine) has sugar, so if you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels might change.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
18possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
    23%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Nasal stuffiness/runniness (Rhinitis)
    18%
  • Rash
    17%
  • Physical weakness and/or lack of energy
    16%
  • Increased cough
    14%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Vomiting
    9%
  • Abdominal pain
    8%
  • Insomnia
    7%
  • Depressive disorders
    6%
  • "Pins and needles" feeling (paresthesia)
    5%
  • Dyspepsia
    4%
  • Muscle pain
    4%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Nerve weakness/numbness/pain
    4%
  • Joint pain
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
See more detailed side effects
3possible side effects
  • Ear, nose, and throat infections
    25%
  • Diarrhea
    14%
  • Sore throat
    13%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Lactic acidosis | Enlarged, fatty liver
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity
  • Worsening hepatitis B infection
    • Hepatitis B Virus infection
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
  • Similar medications
    • HIV treatment
  • Kidney Damage
    • History of kidney damage
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Lactic acidosis | Enlarged, fatty liver
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity
  • Acute Exacerbation of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)
    • Hepatitis B virus
  • Different doses available
  • HIV counseling/testing
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
  • Pancreatitis
See more detailed risks and warnings