Compare Complera vs. Descovy

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

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Treats HIV infection

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

Works with other medicines to treat HIV.

Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is a first choice combination tablet that is used with other medications to treat HIV and is safe for your kidneys and bones.

Upsides
  • 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.
  • Compared to Truvada (a similar drug formulation), Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is safe for your kidneys and bones.
  • Take only once daily, with or without food.
  • Children 12 years or older can take Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide).
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Might worsen hepatitis B infections if you suddenly stop taking Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide).
  • Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is only approved to treat HIV, not to stop you from getting it.
  • Since Descovy (emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is not a generic, it may be expensive.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price
$2670.55
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Lowest price
$1672.61
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Reviews
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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Headache
    2%
  • Depressive disorders
    2%
  • Insomnia
    2%
See more detailed side effects
1possible side effects
  • Nausea
    10%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Lactic acidosis | Enlarged, fatty liver
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity
  • Cannot be used to treat Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)
    • Hepatitis B Virus infection
  • Mood and behavior changes
    • History of mental health problems
  • Decreased bone mineral density
    • History of bone fractures
    • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney damage
    • History of kidney damage
    • Concurrent use of drugs known to harm kidneys
  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to Complera (emtricitabine / rilpivirine / tenofovir) or any of its individual drug components.
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Sudden worsening of Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
    • Hepatitis B virus
  • Lactic acidosis and enlarged, fatty liver
    • Liver disease
    • Obesity
  • Kidney damage
    • History of kidney damage
    • Using other drugs known to harm kidneys
  • Weakened bones
    • History of bone fractures
    • Osteoporosis
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV medication
See more detailed risks and warnings