Prescription onlyClass: Infection


(emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir)

Prescription onlyClass: Infection
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Treats HIV infection

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Our bottom line

Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir) is a convenient 3-in-1 medication used to treat HIV infections.

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  • Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir) combines three medications into one tablet, so it's easy to take.
  • Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir) might be an option for HIV treatment if other HIV drug combinations haven't worked for you.
  • There are drug assistance programs available either through the government (AIDS Drug Assistance Program aka. ADAP) or through the drug manufacturer which can help with drug costs and co-pays.


  • Must be taken with a light meal which includes fat.
  • Cannot be taken with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) like Prilosec or Prevacid. If you need to take an acid reducer, try an antacid like calcium carbonate either 2 hours before or 4 hours after Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir). Drugs like Pepcid or Zantac (H2RAs) may also be an option, but these should be taken 12 hours before or 4 hours after Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir).
  • Not recommended for patients who have a significantly high level of viral cells or have a very low level of immune cells.
  • Not recommended for patients with kidney damage.
  • Can weaken your bones.
How it works

Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir) is a combination pill that contains three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. It treats HIV infections by preventing the virus from attacking your immune cells and multiplying.

What to expect when you take Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir) for HIV treatment

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Side effect rates for Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir)

550 From clinical trials of Complera / HIV treatment
  • Headache
  • Depressive disorders
  • Sleep difficulty

Risks and Warnings for Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity

    Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / 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.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir)

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Kidneys and liver
  • Not recommended for patients with kidney damage.
  • Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir) is not yet approved for treating Hepatitis B. If you have hepatitis B and HIV, don't stop taking Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir) without talking to your doctor since your hepatitis can get worse. Your doctor will check your liver regularly.
  • People on Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / 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. Your doctor will do blood tests to check your kidneys regularly while you're taking Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir).