Compare Emtriva vs. Viread

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

Emtriva
(emtricitabine)

Viread
(tenofovir)

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. Also treats Hepatitis B Virus. tenofovir can be a good choice to take within the Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) drug class. It may not be the best choice though for people with kidney problems.
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Prices and coupon for 30 (200mg) capsules of emtricitabine
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Prices and coupon for 30 (300mg) tablets of tenofovir
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Emtriva (emtricitabine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Viread (tenofovir)?
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Side effects
EmtrivaViread
  • Diarrhea 23%
  • Nasal stuffiness/runniness (rhinitis) 18%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Rash 17%
  • Physical weakness and/or lack of energy 16%
  • Increased cough 14%
  • Headache 13%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Abdominal pain 8%
  • Sleep difficulty 7%
More Emtriva side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Viread »
How it works
EmtrivaViread
Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI). It treats HIV by stopping the virus from replicating within cells in your immune system.tenofovir 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
EmtrivaViread
Prescription only
Available as
EmtrivaViread
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
EmtrivaViread
  • HIV Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
EmtrivaViread
  • Liver disease
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Hepatitis B Virus infection
  • HIV
  • Exposure to other infections
  • Start of a new HIV medication
  • Change in HIV therapy
  • HIV treatment
  • History of kidney damage
Detailed Emtriva (emtricitabine) risks & warnings »
  • Women
  • Obesity
  • Liver disease
    • Kidney damage
    • Prior bone fractures
    • Osteoporosis
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
    • HIV treatment
    Detailed Viread (tenofovir) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

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

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

    Food
    EmtrivaViread
    • Taken with or without food once a day.
    • Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be taken at the same time everyday, with or without food.
    No food related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    EmtrivaViread
    • Patients with kidney damage will need to be closely monitored by their doctors in order to provide an appropriate dose.
    • The dose of Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be adjusted if you have poor kidney health. Your doctor will provide lab tests to ensure you are taking the appropriate dose. Be sure to attend your scheduled doctor and lab appointments in order to make sure that Emtriva (emtricitabine) is working well and safely for you.
    • The dose of tenofovir depends on how your kidneys work. It is really important to consistently monitor them with your doctor.
    • Don't take other drugs that can hurt your kidneys while taking tenofovir without talking to your doctor. That sadly includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve.
    • tenofovir 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 tenofovir. It may not be a good choice for people with liver problems.
    • Severe worsening of Hepatitis B has been seen in patients who have stopped taking tenofovir. Liver function should be closely watched in people who have both HIV and HBV.
    • tenofovir is removed from the body by the kidney. Kidney (renal) damage, including cases of renal failure and Fanconi syndrome (injury to the tubes inside of the kidney), has been reported with the use of tenofovir. Your doctor must continually monitor the function of your kidneys while you are taking tenofovir.
    Upsides and benefits
    EmtrivaViread
    • 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.
    • Take tenofovir once a day, with or without food.
    • For people who can't swallow the tablet, take the powder instead.
    • tenofovir is used for HIV in kids 2 years and older, and chronic hepatitis B in kids 12 years and older.
    Downsides and risks
    EmtrivaViread
    • 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.
    • The tenofovir powder can't be mixed in a liquid, so mix into soft food like applesauce and yogurt.
    • The dose of tenofovir depends on how your kidneys work. It is really important to consistently monitor them with your doctor.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    EmtrivaViread
    • Emtriva (emtricitabine) should be taken at the same time everyday, with or without food.
    • For missed doses, take one if you remember within 12 hours of your regularly scheduled time. Don't take extra medicine or double up if you've missed a previous dose.
    • Keep your regularly scheduled doctor's and lab appointments. These help ensure your medication is working well and safely.
    • Immediately report any signs of liver problems (jaundice, dark urine, yellowing of eyes, etc.) or sensitivity reactions (rash, fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, etc.) to your prescriber.
    • Don't take other drugs that can hurt your kidneys while taking tenofovir without talking to your doctor. That sadly includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aspirin, Advil, and Aleve.
    • People with HIV should be tested for Hepatitis B virus (HBV) before starting tenofovir.
    • Similarly, patients with chronic hepatitis B, should be tested for HIV before starting tenofovir.
    • Decreases in bone mineral density can happen while taking tenofovir.
    • Work with your doctor to monitor your kidney function and bone mineral density regularly.
    Learn more
    More about EmtrivaSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Emtriva (emtricitabine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about VireadSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Viread (tenofovir)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it