Truvada (Emtricitabine)

What is Truvada?

Interested in taking Truvada (Emtricitabine)? Then you should know that it’s an effective antiviral medication used to prevent HIV from multiplying in the body. However, it’s important to mention that this medicine is not a cure for this serious disease.


Recommendations for Use

Once you decide to start this kind of treatment, ensure that you use Truvada according to the recommendations of your doctor, so that it’s not allowed to take it in smaller doses or for longer than needed. You can take this medication both with and without food and remember that you need to make blood tests on a regular basis. Besides, your liver and kidney functions must be checked. You shouldn’t take Truvada as the only medication to treat HIV because this disease requires a certain combination of drugs. You also need to read the label to get a better idea of its contents. For patients who have hepatitis B, you may have specific liver symptoms when you stop taking it. Keep in mind that your ailment will become resistant if you stop taking Truvada earlier than needed.

Precautions and Contraindications

It’s not allowed to start this treatment if you have any allergic reactions to its active components. You shouldn’t take it with other HIV drugs that contain similar active ingredients, including Combivir, Atripla, Epivir and others. To ensure that its use is safe to you, you need to inform your doctor if you have such medical conditions as liver problems, kidney diseases or you used similar medications in the past.

In very rare cases patients may develop lactic acidosis, especially if they have liver complications and are overweight. That’s why you need to discuss your individual risks with your doctor. The good news is that the use of Truvada won’t harm any unborn baby, but you should understand that HIV can be passed to them if patients are not treated properly.

Drug Interactions

There are certain medications that may interact with Truvada, including over-the-counter and prescription pills, herbal supplements and vitamins. It’s necessary to make the list of those meds that you’re currently taking to get it to your doctor to avoid unwanted drug interactions and their negative consequences. As you already know, this medicine shouldn’t be combined with similar drugs that contain the same active ingredient.

Side Effects

Just like all the other medications, the intake of Truvada is associated with a number of unwanted side effects, but patients should realize that they are mild and rare. For example, they may develop allergic reactions to its components, so that if you notice any of them, including difficulty breathing, swelling, red skin and rash, you need to go to the hospital at once.

There are certain symptoms of lactic acidosis that you should be aware of when taking Truvada because they can be fatal at late stages. Watch for such signs as unusual weakness, muscle pain, numbness, stomach pain, cold feeling in legs and arms, vomiting combined with nausea, dizziness, irregular heartrate, feeling tired or exhausted, etc.

Once you notice such unwanted symptoms as itching, nausea, stomach pain, dark urine, jaundice and others, you need to call your doctor immediately.

Finally, remember that the intake of Truvada may increase the risk of having specific autoimmune disorders and infections because it changes the way people’s immune system works. That’s why you need to inform your physician about such symptoms as mouth sores, dry cough, chest pain, fever, weight loss, wheezing, cold sores, fast heartrate, loss of bowel control and others.