What is Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir) used for?
Truvada® is used to treat HIV, the virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS, but it can be used to treat HIV in adults and children who are at least 12 years old and weigh at least 17 kilograms.
Truvada® may be used together with safer-sex practices to reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV. You must be HIV-negative and an adult to use Truvada® for this purpose. It may not provide protection from disease in every person.
How should I take Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir)?
Take Truvada® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
You may take this medicine with or without food.
Use Truvada® regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.
While using Truvada®, you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney and liver function, or bone mineral density may also need to be checked.
If you have hepatitis B, you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using Truvada®.
HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor’s advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.
How do I store Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir)?
Truvada® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Truvada® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Truvada® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush Truvada® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Truvada® or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
You should not take Truvada® if you are allergic to emtricitabine or tenofovir. Do not take if you also use other medicines that contain emtricitabine, tenofovir, lamivudine, or adefovir (such as Atripla, Combivir, Complera, Descovy, Emtriva, Epivir, Epzicom, Genvoya, Hepsera, Odefsey, Stribild, Triumeq, Trizivir, or Viread).
Do not take Truvada® to reduce infection risk if you are HIV-positive, if have been exposed to HIV within the past month, or if you had any symptoms (such as fever, sore throat, night sweats, swollen glands, diarrhea, body aches).
If you take Truvada® to reduce your risk of HIV infection: You must have a negative HIV test immediately before you start taking the medicine. An HIV test is also required every 3 months during treatment.
Some people taking Truvada® develop a serious condition called lactic acidosis. This may be more likely in women, in people who are overweight or have liver disease, and in people who have taken HIV/AIDS medication for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your risk.
HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.
You should not breastfeed while you are using Truvada® to treat or prevent HIV. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.
Truvada® is not approved for anyone younger than 12 years old. The child receiving this medicine must weigh at least 37 pounds.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Truvada® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Truvada®. Truvada® is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir)?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Truvada®: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Early symptoms of lactic acidosis may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- Sudden or unusual bone pain
- Kidney problems – little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath
- Liver problems – nausea, swelling around your midsection, upper stomach pain, itching, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
Truvada® may increase your risk of certain infections or autoimmune disorders by changing the way your immune system works. Symptoms may occur weeks or months after you start treatment with Truvada®. Tell your doctor if you have:
- Signs of a new infection – fever, night sweats, swollen glands, mouth sores, diarrhea, stomach pain, weight loss
- Chest pain (especially when you breathe), dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath
- Cold sores, sores on your genital or anal area
- Rapid heart rate, feeling anxious or irritable, weakness or prickly feeling, problems with balance or eye movement
- Trouble speaking or swallowing, severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control
- Swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex
Common side effects may include:
- Headache, dizziness, feeling depressed or tired
- Sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir)?
Truvada® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- Chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, injectable osteoporosis medications, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection
- Antiviral medicine to treat hepatitis C – ledipasvir, sofosbuvir, velpatasvir
- Other HIV medications – atazanavir, darunavir, didanosine, lopinavir, ritonavir
- Some pain or arthritis medicines – aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve
Does food or alcohol interact with Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir)?
Truvada® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir)?
Truvada® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:
- Liver or kidney disease
- Osteopenia (low bone mineral density)
- Hepatitis B infection
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir).
What is the dose of Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir) for an adult?
Recommended Dose for Treatment of HIV-1 Infection in Adults and Pediatric Patients Weighing 35 Kg or More
The recommended dose in adults and in pediatric patients with body weight greater than or equal to 35 kg is one tablet (containing 200 mg of emtricitabine and 300 mg of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) once daily taken orally with or without food.
Recommended Dose for Treatment of HIV-1 Infection in Pediatric Patients Weighing at Least 17 kg and Able to Swallow a Whole Tablet
The recommended oral dose for pediatric patients weighing greater than or equal to 17 kg and who are able to swallow a whole tablet is one Truvada® low-strength tablet (emtricitabine [FTC]/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate [TDF]) (167 mg/250 mg, 133 mg/200 mg, or 100 mg/150 mg based on body weight) taken orally once daily with or without food.
Recommended Dose for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis
The dose in HIV-1 uninfected adults is one tablet (containing 200 mg of emtricitabine and 300 mg of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) once daily taken orally with or without food.
What is the dose of Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir) for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is Truvada® (emtricitabine and tenofovir) available?
Truvada® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
- Tablet, film coated: emtricitabine 200mg, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300mg
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of Truvada®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: September 2, 2017 | Last Modified: September 2, 2017