Compare Complera vs. Sustiva

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

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 infection.

Sustiva (efavirenz) is one of the most widely used and effective components of an HIV medication regimen. However, it is not a first-line choice because it can have a lot of side effects.

  • 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.
  • If first-line choices for HIV medications are not an option, Sustiva (efavirenz) would be a good alternative to consider.
  • Only taken once daily.
  • Sustiva (efavirenz) is available in combination tablets.
  • Can be used in patients with mild to moderate kidney damage.
  • Can be used in children who are at least 3 months old.
  • 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.
  • Not suggested for women who plan on becoming pregnant.
  • Many people exerience intolerable side effects (eg. insomnia, dizziness, abnormal dreams, confusion), which make it hard to take the medication regularly.
  • Cannot be taken alone for treatment of HIV.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Headache
  • Depressive disorders
  • Insomnia
See more detailed side effects
19possible side effects
  • Skin rash
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Depression
  • Indigestion
  • Anxiety
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sleepiness
  • Nervousness
  • Loss of appetite
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
  • Central nervous system (CNS) effects
    • Starting Sustiva (efavirenz) for the first few weeks.
    • Taking alcohol or other drugs that also affect your nervous system
  • Fat redistribution
    • HIV treatment
  • Liver damage
    • History of liver damage
    • Alcohol intake
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
  • Psychiatric effects
    • History of mental illness
    • History of substance abuse
  • Rash
    • History of severe skin reactions
    • Children
See more detailed risks and warnings