Prescription onlyClass: Infection


(emtricitabine / tenofovir)

Prescription onlyClass: Infection
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Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection.

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Our bottom line

Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) is a popular combination medicine that has two drugs with the same mechanism of action to treat and prevent HIV infection.

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
How it works

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.

What to expect when you take Truvada (emtricitabine / tenofovir) for Treat HIV

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Side effect rates for Truvada (emtricitabine / tenofovir)

257 From clinical trials of Truvada / HIV infection treatment (Taken with efavirenz)
  • Diarrhea
  • Low mood disorder
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Sinus inflammation
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Sleep difficulty

Risks and Warnings for Truvada (emtricitabine / tenofovir)

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  • Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) can cause high lactic acid levels in the blood, which will lead to liver damage. This is very rare, but talk to your doctor immediately if you have unexplained nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or weakness.

    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 Truvada (emtricitabine / tenofovir)

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  • I take it with breakfast. The main side effect I noticed was cramping, which comes and goes, and seems to be less of a problem if I stay hydrated.
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.
  • Before starting Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir), your doctor will test you for hepatitis B to make sure you're not infected. People who've stopped Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) and had chronic hepatitis B have suffered from liver damage and failure.
  • 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.
  • Take it before going to sleep to avoid possible side effects