Compare Emtriva vs. Retrovir

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

Emtriva
(Emtricitabine)

Retrovir
(Zidovudine, Azt, Or Zdv)

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. Also prevents mother-to-child sharing of HIV. AZT can be a good second-line choice to take within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class. AZT can have a number of serious side effects, but if you don't have prior blood, kidney, or liver problems, you should consider it.
Find lowest prices
Powered by GoodRxSave on your next prescription. Be sure you’re getting the lowest price for your medication, even if you have insurance.
No pricing data for this drug at this filter setting. Try searching onGoodRx
Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Not enough reviews for this drug. Help someone out, leave a review!

Side effects
EmtrivaRetrovir

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

FDA side effect reports for Emtriva »

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

FDA side effect reports for Retrovir »
How it works
EmtrivaRetrovir
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.AZT 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
EmtrivaRetrovir
Coming soon.
Coming soon.
Available as
EmtrivaRetrovir
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
EmtrivaRetrovir
  • HIV infection
  • HIV infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
EmtrivaRetrovir
  • 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 »
    • Advanced HIV
    • Anemia
    • Neutropenia
    • Longtime use of AZT
    • Women
    • Obesity
    • Liver disease
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
    • HIV treatment
    Detailed Retrovir (Zidovudine, Azt, Or Zdv) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy category
    EmtrivaRetrovir
    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.
    • Take AZT with or without food.
    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.
    • Poor kidney function will affect how much AZT you can take.
    • 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.
    • AZT 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 AZT. 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
    EmtrivaRetrovir
    • 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.
    • AZT is provided as capsules, tablets, and syrup.
    • Used in kids and babies.
    • Take AZT with or without food.
    • AZT is included in the combination drugs Trizivir (AZT, Epivir, and Ziagen) and Combivir (AZT and Epivir), both of which are taken twice a day.
    Downsides and risks
    EmtrivaRetrovir
    • 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.
    • AZT may cause serious blood, muscle, and liver problems.
    • Poor kidney function will affect how much AZT you can take.
    • Allergies to AZT are rare, but very serious.
    • Need to get regular blood tests.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    EmtrivaRetrovir
    • 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.
    • Don't take AZT with stavudine, another HIV drug.
    • Work with your doctor to get regular blood tests. The goal is to make sure the drug is working well and safely.
    • Keep an eye out for any new symptoms or side effects you may start to feel while taking AZT and report them to your doctor.
    • Read the Medication Guide given to you at the pharmacy about AZT since it contains helpful information.
    Learn more
    More about EmtrivaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about RetrovirSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert