Compare Emtriva vs. Epivir

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

Emtriva
(Emtricitabine)

Epivir
(Lamivudine)

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. emtricitabine is currently one of the most popular drugs within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. lamivudine is currently one of the most popular drugs within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
EmtrivaEpivir

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

FDA side effect reports for Emtriva »

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

FDA side effect reports for Epivir »
How it works
EmtrivaEpivir
emtricitabine 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.lamivudine 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
EmtrivaEpivir
Coming soon.
Coming soon.
Available as
EmtrivaEpivir
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
EmtrivaEpivir
  • HIV infection
  • HIV infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
EmtrivaEpivir
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
    • HIV treatment
    Detailed Emtriva (Emtricitabine) risks & warnings »
    • Women
    • Obesity
    • Liver disease
          • HIV
          • Exposure to other infections
          • Start of a new HIV medication
          • Change in HIV therapy
          • HIV treatment
          Detailed Epivir (Lamivudine) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          EmtrivaEpivir
          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
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          • Take with or without food once a day.
          No specific food-related info.
          Kidneys and liver
          • emtricitabine is removed from the body by the kidneys, so the dose of emtricitabine needs to be lowered if you have any kidney problems.
          • emtricitabine can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use emtricitabine. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
          • The dose of lamivudine needs to be lowered if you have kidney problems.
          • lamivudine can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use lamivudine. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
          Sex
          No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
          Sleep
          No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
          Weight
          No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          EmtrivaEpivir
          • Take with or without food once a day.
          • emtricitabine can be taken as a capsule or liquid.
          • The emtricitabine oral solution can be stored for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
          • emtricitabine is contained in the following combination products: Atripla, Complera, Stribild, and Truvada.
          • lamivudine is available as a tablet and oral solution.
          • Can be taken once or twice a day.
          • One of the more popular drugs in its class.
          • lamivudine is contained in the following combination products: Combivir, Epzicom, and Trizivir.
          Downsides and risks
          EmtrivaEpivir
          • Can't be taken with any drugs containing lamivudine since both are so similar to each other.
          • emtricitabine is removed from the body by the kidneys, so the dose of emtricitabine needs to be lowered if you have any kidney problems.
          • Kids have a higher chance than adults of skin color changes on their hands and feet while taking emtricitabine.
          • lamivudine should not be used with any other drugs containing Emtriva (emtricitabine) since both are so similar to each other.
          • Use with caution in kids with a history of pancreatitis (pancreas infection).
          • Most common side effects are headache, nausea, tiredness, congestion, diarrhea, and cough.
          • The dose of lamivudine needs to be lowered if you have kidney problems.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          EmtrivaEpivir
          • Since emtricitabine is only taken once a day, take it at the same time as your other HIV medications.
          • If being used for kids, the dose of emtricitabine will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
          • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking emtricitabine and report them to your doctor.
          • The doses for lamivudine are different for HIV and Hepatitis B.
          • If being used for kids, the dose of lamivudine will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
          • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking lamivudine and report them to your doctor.
          Learn more
          More about EmtrivaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about EpivirSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert