Emtricitabine (By mouth)

Introduction

Emtricitabine (em-trye-SYE-ta-been)

Used together with other medicines to treat human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults and children. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but it may slow the progress of the disease.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

Emtriva

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You or your child should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to emtricitabine, or if you are also taking lamivudine, Atripla?, Combivir®, Epivir®, Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Trizivir®, or Truvada®.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid

  • 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.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Do not change or stop using this medicine without checking with your doctor first. When your supply of this medicine is running low, contact your doctor or pharmacist ahead of time. Do not allow yourself or your child to run out of this medicine.
  • This medicine is used together with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed at the right time of the day. This will make your medicines work better.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

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 capsules in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • It is best to store the oral liquid in a refrigerator if possible. Do not freeze. If you must keep the liquid at room temperature, throw away any unused liquid after 3 months have passed.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • 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.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or liver disease (especially hepatitis B infection).
  • 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.
  • You should not breast feed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you may give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
  • Two rare but serious reactions to this medicine are lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood) and liver toxicity, which includes an enlarged liver. These are more common if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking anti-HIV medicines for a long time. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of these symptoms: abdominal discomfort or cramping; dark urine; decreased appetite; diarrhea; general feeling of discomfort; light-colored stools; muscle cramping or pain; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; trouble breathing; vomiting; or yellow eyes or skin.
  • When you or your child start taking HIV medicines, your immune system may get stronger. If you have certain infections, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, you may notice new symptoms when your body tries to fight them. If this occurs, be sure to tell your doctor.
  • This medicine may cause you or your child to have excess body fat. Tell your doctor if you notice changes in your body shape, such as an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck, face, or around the chest and stomach area. You might also lose fat from the legs, arms, and face.
  • Your doctor will need to check your blood at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

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, rapid breathing, or wheezing.
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or pain in your upper stomach.
  • Extreme weakness, tiredness, or confusion.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in skin color on your hands or feet.
  • Earache or swelling of the ear.
  • Gaining weight around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist.
  • Headache, dizziness, or drowsiness.
  • Mild nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or stomach upset.
  • Mild skin rash or itching.
  • Muscle or joint pain.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Trouble sleeping.

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

Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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