Emtricitabine/tenofovir (By mouth)
Emtricitabine (em-trye-SYE-ta-been), Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (ten-OF-oh-vir dye-soe-PROX-il FUE-ma-rate)
Treats HIV infection. Also used as part of a complete prevention strategy to reduce the risk of HIV infection in adults who are at high risk. HIV causes AIDS. This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs may slow the progress of the disease.
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 emtricitabine or tenofovir, or if you are also taking adefovir (Hepsera®), Atripla®, Complera®, Emtriva®, or Viread®. Do not use this medicine if you also use medicines that contain lamivudine (such as Combivir®, Epivir®, Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, or Trizivir®). Do not use this medicine to help prevent HIV if you have unknown or positive HIV-1 status.
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.
- Try to take your medicine at the same time each day.
- This medicine works best when there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep the amount constant, do not miss any doses. Do not change your dose or stop taking this medicine, even for a short time, without checking first with your doctor.
- Contact your doctor or pharmacy when your supply of medicine is running low. Do not allow yourself to run out of this medicine.
- This medicine is used with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.
- This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.
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. Keep your medicine bottle tightly closed.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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 emtricitabine and tenofovir. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using acyclovir (Zovirax®), atazanavir (Reyataz®), cidofovir (Vistide®), didanosine (Videx®), ganciclovir (Cytovene®), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra®), valacyclovir (Valtrex®), or valganciclovir (Valcyte®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney problems, liver disease (especially hepatitis B), or bone problems (such as osteomalacia, osteopenia, or osteoporosis). Tell your doctor if you are on dialysis.
- You may need to be tested for hepatitis B virus. This medicine is not approved to treat chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
- Two rare but serious reactions to this medicine are lactic acidosis (buildup of acid in the blood) and an enlarged liver. Call your doctor right away if you feel very tired, weak, or nauseated, if you vomit or have trouble breathing, or if your skin or eyes turn yellow.
- This medicine may also increase your risk of broken bones. Ask your doctor about this if you have any concerns.
- 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 cause changes in your 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 stomach area. You might also lose fat from your legs, arms, and face.
- You should not breastfeed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you might give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
- 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.
- When this medicine is used as part of a program to prevent HIV infection, you should be tested at least every 3 months for HIV-1 and also tested regularly for syphilis, gonorrhea, and other sexually transmitted infections.
- Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever, headache, joint or muscle pain, a rash, night sweats, or swollen lymph nodes.
- Your doctor will need to check your blood or urine at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.Your doctor may want to monitor you for several months after you stop using this medicine.
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
- Chest pain
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
- Decrease in how much or how often you urinate
- Extreme weakness, tiredness, confusion, lightheadedness or fainting
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
- Rapid breathing, trouble breathing
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Cough, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat
- Headache, dizziness
- Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain
- Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, face, 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
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013