Compare Viread vs. Sustiva

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

Works with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Also treats Hepatitis B Virus.

Viread (tenofovir) is a first-line choice to be used in combination with other medications to treat HIV. Viread (tenofovir) is also a first-line choice in treating HBV.

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.

  • Can be used with other medications to prevent HIV infection after an exposure.
  • Taken only once daily, with or without food.
  • There are newer formulations of Viread (tenofovir) available that are safer on your kidneys.
  • If tablets are hard for you to swallow, Viread (tenofovir) is available in a powder that's mixed with soft foods.
  • 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.
  • Viread (tenofovir) can't be used on its own to treat HIV infection.
  • Not recommended for patients with kidney damage.
  • Can weaken your bones.
  • Might worsen hepatitis B infections if you suddenly stop taking it.
  • 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
  • Powder
  • Pill
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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Nausea
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 illness
  • Decreased bone mineral density
    • History of bone fractures
    • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney damage
    • History of kidney damage
    • Concurrent use of other drugs known to harm kidneys
  • Hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions
    • Prior severe allergic reaction to Viread (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