Efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir (By mouth)


Efavirenz (ef-a-VYE-renz), Emtricitabine (em-trye-SYE-ta-been), Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (ten-OF-oh-vir dye-soe-PROX-il FUE-ma-rate)

Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but it may slow the progress of the disease.

Brand Name(s)


There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to efavirenz, emtricitabine, tenofovir, Complera®, Emtriva®, Sustiva®, Truvada®, Viread®. Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or if you are also using any medicine that contains lamivudine (such as Combivir®, Epivir®, Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Trizivir®). You should not use this medicine if you are using adefovir (Hepsera®), bepridil (Vascor®), cisapride (Propulsid®), midazolam (Versed®), pimozide (Orap®), triazolam (Halcion®), voriconazole (Vfend®), St John's wort, or ergotamine medicines (such as dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine, Cafergot®, Ergomar®, or Wigraine®).

How to Use This Medicine


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach.
  • Take this medicine at the same time each day, preferably at bedtime.
  • Do not stop using this medicine without checking first with your doctor. If you stop the medicine even briefly, the virus may become resistant to the medicine and harder to treat. Contact your doctor or pharmacist when your supply is running low. Do not allow yourself to run out of medicine.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • There are many other medicines that you should not use together with efavirenz, emtricitabine, or tenofovir combination. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using other medicines to treat HIV/AIDS (such as acyclovir, amprenavir, atazanavir, cidofovir, didanosine, fosamprenavir, ganciclovir, indinavir, lopinavir, maraviroc, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, Crixivan®, Kaletra®, Reyataz®, Selzentry®, Valtrex®, Zovirax®). Tell your doctor if you are using clarithromycin (Biaxin®), methadone (Dolophine®), rifabutin (Mycobutin®), rifampin (Rifadin®), sertraline (Zoloft®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using bupropion (Wellbutrin®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), sirolimus (Rapamune®), tacrolimus (Prograf®), medicine to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, Tegretol®), medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin, Lipitor®), or medicine to treat a fungal infection (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, Nizoral®). Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using certain blood pressure medicines (such as diltiazem, felodipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, verapamil, Cardizem®), an estrogen hormone replacement or birth control pill (such as ethinyl estradiol, norgestimate, Estinyl®, Ortho-Cyclen®, Ortho Tri-Cyclen®), or birth control implant (such as etonogestrel, Implanon®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Your unborn baby could be harmed if you use this medicine while you are pregnant. Use 2 forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy while you take this medicine and for 12 weeks after you stop it. Some birth control pills may not work as well while you use this medicine, so you should also use condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • You should not breastfeed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you might give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease (especially hepatitis B or C infection), kidney disease, or bone problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of seizures, mental illness, emotional problems, or drug or alcohol use.
  • Two rare but serious reactions to this medicine are lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood) and liver toxicity. These reactions are more common if you are female, obese, or have been taking anti-HIV medicines for a long time. Call your doctor right away if you have abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, decreased appetite, muscle cramping or pain, unusual tiredness or weakness, trouble breathing, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • This medicine may increase your risk for serious mental or behavioral problems. Tell your doctor if you begin to feel depressed or aggressive, or if you have any thoughts about hurting yourself.
  • This medicine may weaken your bones and increase your risk for broken bones. Ask your doctor about this if you have any concerns.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you develop a skin rash, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, red skin lesions, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills.
  • This medicine may cause excess body fat. Tell your doctor if you notice changes in your body shape, such as more fat in your upper back and neck or around your chest and abdomen. You might also lose fat from your legs, arms, and face.
  • Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health. Sometimes the immune system will start to fight infections that were hidden in your body, such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis. Autoimmune disorders (such as Graves disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) may also occur.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • This medicine will not keep you from giving HIV to your partner during sex. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Do not share needles with anyone.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
  • Change in how much or how often you urinate
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools, yellow skin or eyes
  • Extreme weakness, tiredness, or confusion
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness
  • Seizures, tremors
  • Severe depression, confusion, anger, thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bone, joint, or muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach
  • Mild skin rash, itching, change in skin color
  • Trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, anxiety or mood changes
  • Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breasts, or waist

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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