Compare Descovy vs. Sustiva

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.

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.

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).
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
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
19possible side effects
  • Skin rash
    16%
  • Diarrhea
    14%
  • Pain
    13%
  • Nausea
    10%
  • Dizziness
    9%
  • Itching
    9%
  • Fatigue
    8%
  • Headache
    8%
  • Insomnia
    7%
  • Vomiting
    6%
  • Trouble concentrating
    5%
  • Depression
    5%
  • Indigestion
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Abnormal dreams
    3%
  • Abdominal pain
    3%
  • Sleepiness
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Loss of appetite
    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
  • 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