Emtricitabine and tenofovir may cause life-threatening damage to the liver and a potentially life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis (buildup of lactic acid in the blood) when used alone or in combination with other medications that treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment: nausea; vomiting; pain in the upper right part of your stomach; loss of appetite; flu-like symptoms; extreme tiredness; unusual bleeding or bruising; weakness; dizziness; lightheadedness; fast or irregular heartbeat; trouble breathing; dark yellow or brown urine; light-colored bowel movements; yellowing of the skin or eyes; feeling cold, especially in the arms or legs; or muscle pain that is different than any muscle pain you usually experience.
Emtricitabine and tenofovir should not be used to treat hepatitis B virus infection (HBV; an ongoing liver infection). Tell your doctor if you have or think you may have HBV. Your doctor may test you to see if you have HBV before you begin your treatment with emtricitabine and tenofovir. If you have HBV and you take emtricitabine and tenofovir, your condition may suddenly worsen when you stop taking emtricitabine and tenofovir. Your doctor will examine you and order lab tests regularly for several months after you stop taking emtricitabine and tenofovir to see if your HBV has worsened.
If you are taking emtricitabine and tenofovir to help prevent you from getting HIV, your doctor will test you to see if you have HIV before you begin your treatment. Tell your doctor if you have had any of the following symptoms in the last month or if you have any of the following symptoms while taking emtricitabine and tenofovir to help prevent you from getting HIV: fever, tiredness, joint or muscle pain, rash, sweating a lot, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, sore throat, swollen neck or groin area. Tell your doctor if you think you may have been exposed to HIV. Emtricitabine and tenofovir does not always prevent HIV. Your doctor will order HIV tests at least every 3 months while you are taking emtricitabine and tenofovir to see if you have become infected with HIV. Emtricitabine and tenofovir should only be used in combination with other medications to treat HIV. If emtricitabine and tenofovir are used alone to treat HIV, your condition may become more difficult to treat.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests to check your body's response to emtricitabine and tenofovir.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with emtricitabine and tenofovir and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer's website to obtain the Medication Guide.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking emtricitabine and tenofovir.
The combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir is used along with other medications to treat HIV in patients who are 12 years of age and older. It is also used along with practicing safer sex to help prevent patients, who are at high risk, from getting HIV. Emtricitabine and tenofovir are in a class of medications called nucleoside and nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). They work by slowing the spread of HIV in the body. Although emtricitabine and tenofovir will not cure HIV, these medications may decrease your chance of developing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and HIV-related illnesses such as serious infections or cancer. Taking these medications along with practicing safer sex and making other life-style changes may decrease the risk of getting or transmitting the HIV virus to other people.
The combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken, with or without food, once a day. Take emtricitabine and tenofovir at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take emtricitabine and tenofovir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Continue to take emtricitabine and tenofovir even if you feel well. Do not stop taking emtricitabine and tenofovir without talking to your doctor.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it that day. Do not take more than one dose in a day. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
change in skin color, especially on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet
pain, burning or tingling in the hands or feet
swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
difficulty swallowing or breathing
difficult, painful, or frequent urination
Emtricitabine and tenofovir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 11/15/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.