Emtricitabine and tenofovir are classified as nucleoside and nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). This medication is often prescribed in combination with other drugs to manage HIV in both adults and children weighing at least 37 pounds (17 kg). It is also recommended for high-risk adults and teenagers weighing at least 77 pounds (35 kg) in conjunction with practicing safer sex, to reduce the chances of contracting HIV.
By slowing down the propagation of HIV in the body these drugs can help reduce the risk of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and other HIV-related diseases, such as severe infections or cancer. Combining these drugs with safer sex practices and making other lifestyle adjustments can further lower the risk of contracting or spreading the HIV virus.
Uses and Dosage
Follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medication, typically once a day by mouth, with or without food. The dosage is determined by your medical condition, kidney function, and response to treatment. For children, the dosage is also based on weight.
When used to treat HIV infection, this medication is usually taken alongside other medications. If taking didanosine enteric-coated tablets, both drugs should be taken with a light meal or on an empty stomach. However, if taking didanosine buffered tablets, both products should be taken on an empty stomach.
Take this medication (as well as other HIV medications) exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Skipping doses is not recommended.
To achieve the best results, take this medication at regular intervals. To aid in remembering, take it at the same time each day.
Do not take more or less of this medication than prescribed, and do not stop taking it (or any other HIV medications) unless advised to do so by your doctor. Doing so may increase the amount of virus in your body, make the infection harder to treat (resistant), or worsen side effects.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- unusual dreams
- pain, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
- weight loss
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- decreased urination
- difficult, painful, or frequent urination
- bone pain
- pain in upper right part of stomach
- loss of appetite
- flu-like symptoms
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- dark yellow or brown urine
- light-colored bowel movements
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- feeling cold, especially in the arms or legs
- muscle pain
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- stomach pain with nausea and vomiting
Before taking emtricitabine/tenofovir, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergies to either medication or other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction or other complications.
Prior to using this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist about your medical history, specifically if you have pancreatitis, liver problems, alcohol consumption, bone disease, bone loss/osteoporosis, weak/broken bones, or kidney disease.
This drug may cause dizziness. Consuming alcohol or marijuana can intensify dizziness. Refrain from driving, operating machinery, or any activity that requires alertness until you are confident you can do so safely.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be used when necessary. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor. If you have HIV infection, treating it can decrease the possibility of transmitting HIV to your infant, and this medication may be used as part of that treatment.
This medication is passed into breast milk. As it may pose a risk to the infant, breastfeeding while using this drug is not recommended. Furthermore, if you have HIV infection, do not breastfeed as breast milk can transmit HIV.
Form and Strength
Truvada is available in the following forms and strengths:
emtricitabine and tenofovir tablet:
What is the success rate of Truvada?
A person who takes Truvada every day can lower his or her risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 99% percent.
How long do you need to take Truvada before it works?
The medication must be taken each day for 7 days to reach the level needed for full protection.