Generic Name: Tenofovir Disoproxil

  • What is Viread?

    Viread is a medication used to treat HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Viread must be taken in combination with other anti-HIV medications to reduce the amount of virus circulating in your blood, and increase the number of disease fighting cells (CD4+ cells) in the blood. Viread is also used to treat hepatitis B infection.

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

    Viread does not cure HIV or AIDS. Viread does not reduce the risk of passing HIV to others through sexual contact, sharing needles, or being exposed to your blood.

    Viread does not completely eliminate HIV or totally restore the immune system. There is still a danger of serious infections, so you should be sure to see your doctor regularly for monitoring and tests. Notify your doctor immediately of any changes in your general health.

    If you have hepatitis B (HBV) infection or HIV and HBV infection together, you may have a "flare-up" of hepatitis B, in which the disease suddenly returns more seriously than before if you stop taking Viread. Do not stop taking Viread without your doctor's advice.

    After stopping Viread, tell you doctor immediately about any new, unusual, or worsening symptoms that you notice after stopping treatment. After you stop taking Viread, your doctor will still need to check your health and take blood tests to check your liver for several months.

    Lactic acidosis (a buildup in the blood of lactic acid, the same substance that causes your muscles to burn during heavy exercise) is considered a serious condition and may occur while taking Viread. Call your doctor right away if you experience any signs or symptoms of unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold sensations in your arms and legs, dizziness, lightheadedness, or a fast heartbeat.

    In some cases, people who have taken medicines like Viread have developed severe liver problems. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any signs of liver problems, which include yellowing of your skin, dark urine, pale colored stool, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain, aching or sensitivity on your right side below your ribs.

    Both lactic acidosis and liver problems are more common if you are female, obese or taking drugs in the same class as Viread (nucleoside analogs) for a long time.

  • Who should not take Viread?

    You should not take Viread if you are allergic or sensitive to it or any of its ingredients. Do not take Viread if you are already taking Truvada or Atripla because Viread contains (tenofovir), one of the same active ingredients in these two medications. Also, do not take Viread if you have not already discontinued treatment with Hepsera (adefovir dipvoxil).

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

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

  • 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.

    Chronic Hepatitis B

    Adults: The usual dose is 300 milligrams (mg) taken once daily.


    Adults: The usual dose is 300 mg taken once daily.

    Children ≥12 years: The usual dose is 300 mg taken once daily for children weighing at least 77 pounds.

    If you have kidney problems, your doctor may recommend that you take Viread less frequently.

  • How should I take Viread?

    Viread should be taken at the same time every day and can be taken with or without food. You should take Viread exactly as your doctor has prescribed and you should not skip doses. If you are taking Viread to treat HIV or if you have both HIV and hepatitis B, make sure you are taking other anti-HIV medicines as well as Viread to prevent resistance.

  • What should I avoid while taking Viread?

    You should not breastfeed while taking Viread.

    Avoid running out of your medicine. This could cause the amount of virus in your blood to increase if you stop taking Viread for even a short time.

    Viread does not reduce the risk of passing HIV to others through sexual contact, sharing needles, or being exposed to your blood. For your health and the health of others, it is important to always practice safe sex by using a latex or polyurethane condom or other barrier methods to lower the chance of sexual contact with any body fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. Never reuse or share needles.

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

    If Viread is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Viread with the following: adefovir dipivoxil, atazanavir sulfate, Atripla (a combination of tenofovir, emtricitabine and efavirenz), didanosine, entecavir, indinavir, lamivudine, lopinavir/ritonavir, saquinavir/ritonavir, Truvada (a combination of tenofovir and emtricitibine)

  • What are the possible side effects of Viread?

    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: lactic acidosis, signs of infection, bone fractures, liver problems, kidney problems, rash, headache, pain, diarrhea, depression, weakness, nausea

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

    The effects of Viread during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. You should not breastfeed if you are taking Viread. 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 Viread?

    It is important that you do not miss any doses. If you miss a dose of Viread, take it as soon as you remember and then take your next scheduled dose at its regular time. If it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Wait and take the next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Viread?

    Store at room temperature.

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I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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