Compare Emtriva vs. Descovy

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

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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.

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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
Lowest price
$1825.63
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Reviews
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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
1possible side effects
  • Nausea
    10%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • 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