Compare Truvada vs. Isentress

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

Truvada
(Emtricitabine / Tenofovir)

Isentress
(Raltegravir)

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) is a popular combination medicine that has two drugs with the same mechanism of action to treat and prevent HIV infection.Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. This is the first medication approved as an Integrase Inhibitor (InSTI), so it may be a great, but somewhat expensive, option for people who have already tried other drugs and need another option.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
TruvadaIsentress
  • > 5% bone mineral density loss 7%
  • Abdominal pain 2%
  • Secondary syphilis 2%
  • Headache 1%
  • Bone fractures 1%
  • Weight decreased 1%
  • Syphilis 1%
More Truvada side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Isentress »
How it works
TruvadaIsentress
Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) is a combination medication that stops the replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within important cells of the body. Emtricitabine and tenofovir both prevent the virus from taking over normal functions of the cell for its own purposes.Isentress 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
TruvadaIsentress
Antiretroviral
Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)
Antiretroviral
Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)
Prescription only
Coming soon.Prescription only
Available as
TruvadaIsentress
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
TruvadaIsentress
  • HIV infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
TruvadaIsentress
    • Infection with chronic hepatitis B and stopping Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir)
    • Taking high dose anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
        • Undiscovered HIV infection
        Detailed Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) risks & warnings »
        • Prior severe allergic reaction to Isentress
        • Prior severe allergic reaction to Isentress
        • Phenylketonuria
        • Certain drugs can increase the dose of Isentress in the body
        • HIV
        • Exposure to other infections
        • Start of a new HIV medication
        • Change in HIV therapy
        Detailed Isentress (Raltegravir) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        TruvadaIsentress
        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
        No specific food-related info.
        • Take Isentress with or without food.
        Kidneys and liver
        • Can cause unusual dreams, or kidney or liver damage.
        • Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) is removed from the body by the kidneys, so the dose of Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) needs to be lowered if you have any kidney problems.
        • People on Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) have reported kidney damage, which can be made worse if you take high doses of anti-inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs (Motrin/Advil, Aleve, Mobic, Voltaren, etc.). Call your doctor if you develop bone pain, pain in your arms or legs, or pain or weakness in your muscles.
        • 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.
        Sex
        • Practice safe sex while taking Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) since the medication will not stop you from passing HIV to other people.
        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
        TruvadaIsentress
        • First-line treatment for preventing HIV infection in combination with other HIV medications.
        • Only has to be taken once a day.
        • Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) prevents and treats HIV infection.
        • Used for preventing HIV infection in case you've been accidentally exposed or if you're in danger of being exposed.
        • If having difficulty swallowing the tablet, consider the chewable tablet or oral suspension.
        • Only one tablet taken two times a day.
        • Can be used for kids 4 weeks and older.
        • May be helpful if other HIV drugs have stopped working since Isentress works differently than most HIV drugs.
        Downsides and risks
        TruvadaIsentress
        • Has to be taken at the same time every day or your body can become resistant to the medication.
        • Can't be taken on its own to treat HIV.
        • Can cause unusual dreams, or kidney or liver damage.
        • Can't be taken with any drugs containing lamivudine since both are so similar to each other.
        • Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) is removed from the body by the kidneys, so the dose of Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) needs to be lowered if you have any kidney problems.
        • Tablets, chewable tablets, and the oral suspension all have different doses, so talk to your doctor if you want to switch from one to another.
        • The oral suspension has to be taken within 30 minutes of mixing it.
        • Avoid taking antacids that contain aluminum and/or magnesium while taking Isentress.
        • Let your doctor know right away if while taking Isentress you begin to feel unexplained muscle pain.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        TruvadaIsentress
        • Since Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) is only taken once a day, try taking it at the same time as your other HIV medications.
        • If being used for kids, the dose of Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) 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 Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) and report them to your doctor.
        • Practice safe sex while taking Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) since the medication will not stop you from passing HIV to other people.
        • Set two times during the day, one in the morning and one in the evening that you will remember to take Isentress.
        • Take Isentress with or without food.
        • Isentress can make you tired, so avoid other medications or drinks that will add to the problem.
        • If being used for kids, the dose of Isentress will continue to change as they grow, so keep in touch with their doctor.
        Learn more
        More about TruvadaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about IsentressSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert