Emtriva

Generic Name: Emtricitabine

  • What is Emtriva?

    Emtriva is a medicine used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection (AIDS). Emtriva is a type of medication called a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI); it works by lowering the amount of HIV in your blood. Emtriva is available in capsules and an oral solution.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Emtriva?

    You must take Emtriva with other HIV medications. Always stay on continuous HIV therapy to control your HIV infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses. Though Emtriva can slow the progress of HIV, it is not a cure. Also, Emtriva does not lower your chance of passing HIV to others through sexual contact with any body fluids, such as semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. You may continue to develop infections and other complications associated with HIV.

    Emtriva can cause a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis (a build-up of an acid in the blood). Tell your doctor immediately if you feel very weak or tired; have unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, or stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feel cold, especially in your arms and legs; feel dizzy or lightheaded; or have a fast or irregular heartbeat.

    Emtriva can cause serious liver problems with liver enlargement and fat in the liver. Tell your doctor immediately if you experience yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes, dark urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, nausea, or lower abdominal pain.

    You have a higher chance of getting lactic acidosis or liver problems if you are a woman, are very overweight (obese), or if you have been taking Emtriva or similar products for a long time.

    Emtriva can cause changes or accumulation of body fat in your upper back and neck ("buffalo hump"), breast, and around the middle of your body. Loss of fat from your legs, arms, and face can also occur.

    If you have hepatitis B virus (HBV) and stop taking Emtriva, your HBV can worsen.

    Changes in your immune system can occur when you start taking Emtriva. Your immune system can get stronger and begin to fight infections that have been hidden in your body for a long time. Call your doctor immediately if you start having new symptoms after starting Emtriva.

  • Who should not take Emtriva?

    Do not take Emtriva if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    Do not take Emtriva if you are already taking other HIV medications containing the same or similar active ingredients (such as Atripla, Complera, Truvada, Combivir, Epivir, Epivir-HBV, Epzicom, or Trizivir).

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Emtriva?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Emtriva. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver problems, including HBV; kidney problems; or are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 1 capsule once a day or 24 milliliters (ml) of the oral solution once a day.

    Children: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on their weight.

    If you have kidney impairment, your doctor will adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take Emtriva?

    Take Emtriva exactly as prescribed by your doctor. You can take Emtriva with or without food. Do not change your dose or stop taking Emtriva without first talking with your doctor.

    When your Emtriva supply starts to run low, get more from your doctor or pharmacy. It is important that you do not run out of Emtriva. If you stop the medicine for even a short time, the amount of HIV in your body can increase or it can become resistant to the effects of Emtriva.

  • What should I avoid while taking Emtriva?

    Do not breastfeed while you are taking Emtriva.

    Do not reuse or share needles or other injection equipment. Also, do not share personal items that can have blood or bodily fluids on them (such as toothbrushes or razor blades).

    Do not have unprotected sex.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Emtriva?

    No significant interactions have been reported with Emtriva at this time. However, always tell your doctor about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

  • What are the possible side effects of Emtriva?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abnormal dreams, allergic reactions, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, indigestion, nausea, rash, sleeping problems, stomach pain, tiredness, vomiting, weakness

  • Can I receive Emtriva if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Emtriva during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. It is recommended that you do not breastfeed your baby if you are infected with HIV. This is because your baby could become infected with HIV through your breast milk. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Emtriva?

    If you miss a dose of Emtriva, take it as soon as you remember that same day. Then, return to your regular dosing schedule the following day. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Emtriva?

    Store Emtriva capsules at room temperature. Do not keep it in places that are too hot or cold.

    Store Emtriva oral solution in the refrigerator, or store at room temperature for up to 3 months and discard the remaining solution in the bottle after the 3 months. Do not freeze.