Compare Descovy vs. Emtriva

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

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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.

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection.

Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a first-line and commonly used drug that is taken in combination with other HIV medications to treat or prevent HIV.

Upsides
  • 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).
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is a first-line drug option used in combination with other HIV medications to treat HIV.
  • Taken with or without food once a day.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is available in many combination tablets if you are looking to lower the number of pills you need to take daily for HIV treatment.
  • Emtriva (emtricitabine) is available as a capsule as well as liquid form.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Patients with kidney damage will need to be closely monitored by their doctors in order to provide an appropriate dose.
  • Cannot be used by itself to treat or prevent HIV infection.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
Lowest price
$1672.61
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Reviews
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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Nausea
    10%
See more detailed side effects
18possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
    23%
  • Nausea
    18%
  • Nasal stuffiness/runniness (Rhinitis)
    18%
  • Rash
    17%
  • Physical weakness and/or lack of energy
    16%
  • Increased cough
    14%
  • Headache
    13%
  • Vomiting
    9%
  • Abdominal pain
    8%
  • Insomnia
    7%
  • Depressive disorders
    6%
  • "Pins and needles" feeling (paresthesia)
    5%
  • Dyspepsia
    4%
  • Muscle pain
    4%
  • Dizziness
    4%
  • Nerve weakness/numbness/pain
    4%
  • Joint pain
    3%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Lactic acidosis | Enlarged, fatty liver
    • Liver disease
    • Women
    • Obesity
  • Worsening hepatitis B infection
    • Hepatitis B Virus infection
  • Immune reconstitution syndrome
    • HIV
    • Exposure to other infections
    • Start of a new HIV medication
    • Change in HIV therapy
  • Similar medications
    • HIV treatment
  • Kidney Damage
    • History of kidney damage
See more detailed risks and warnings