Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Truvada

(Emtricitabine / Tenofovir)

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Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection.

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Prescription onlyNo lower cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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Side effects for Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir)

From clinical trials of Truvada / HIV infection treatment (Taken with efavirenz) ( 257)

  • DiarrheaDiarrhea9% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • Low mood disorderLow mood disorder9% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • FatigueFatigue9% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea9% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • Sinus inflammationSinus inflammation8% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • Ear, nose, or throat infectionEar, nose, or throat infection8% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • DizzinessDizziness8% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • RashRash7% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache6% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo
  • Sleep difficultySleep difficulty5% for Truvada vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) for Treat HIV

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • 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.

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

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir)

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The FDA category for this medication is B. It is advised that you: Probably safe
Pregnancy
Food
  • 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.
    Age: 34
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: To reduce risk of getting HIV from husband
    Duration taken: A month or so
Kidneys & liver
  • Upsides and downsides from our pharmacists
  • 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.
  • Risks from our pharmacists
  • 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.
Sex
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Practice safe sex while taking Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) since the medication will not stop you from passing HIV to other people.
  • I first started PrEP as an added safety measure, no side effects except massive improvement in my ability to relax and enjoy sex with my boyfriend.
    Taken for: PrEP
    Duration taken: A year or so
  • Incredible and effective option for remaining HIV negative while sexually active with partners.
    Anonymous
    Taken for: HIV prevention
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • I had a few headaches the first couple of days but they subsided quickly. No side effects now, just a considerably more relaxed sex life.
    Age: 23
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: PrEP
    Duration taken: A few months
Sleep
  • Take it before going to sleep to avoid possible side effects
    Age: 26
    Gender: Man
    Duration taken: A few months