Efavirenz (ef-a-VYE-renz), Emtricitabine (em-trye-SYE-ta-been), Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate (ten-OF-oh-vir dye-soe-PROX-il FUE-ma-rate)
Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This medicine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but it may slow the progress of the disease.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to efavirenz, emtricitabine, or tenofovir. Do not use this medicine if you also take adefovir (Hepsera®), bepridil (Vascor®), cisapride (Propulsid®), lamivudine (such as in Combivir®, Epivir®, Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Trizivir®), midazolam (Versed®), pimozide (Orap®), triazolam (Halcion®), voriconazole (Vfend®), St John's wort, ergotamine medicines (such as dihydroergotamine, ergonovine, ergotamine, methylergonovine, Cafergot®, Ergomar®, Wigraine®), or other medicines that contain efavirenz, emtricitabine, or tenofovir (such as Complera®, Emtriva®, Stribild?, Truvada®, Viread®). Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant.
How to Use This Medicine
- 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.
- It is best to take this medicine on an empty stomach.
- Take this medicine at the same time each day, preferably at bedtime.
- Do not stop using this medicine without checking first with your doctor. If you stop the medicine even briefly, the virus may become resistant to the medicine and harder to treat. Contact your doctor or pharmacist when your supply is running low. Do not allow yourself to run out of medicine.
- 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 medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- 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.
- There are many other medicines that you should not use together with efavirenz, emtricitabine, or tenofovir. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you use.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you use other medicines to treat HIV/AIDS such as acyclovir, amprenavir, atazanavir, cidofovir, didanosine, fosamprenavir, ganciclovir, indinavir, lopinavir, maraviroc, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, Crixivan®, Kaletra®, Reyataz®, Selzentry®, Valtrex®, or Zovirax®. Tell your doctor if you use clarithromycin (Biaxin®), methadone (Dolophine®), rifabutin (Mycobutin®), rifampin (Rifadin®), sertraline (Zoloft®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
- Tell your doctor if you also use bupropion (Wellbutrin®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), sirolimus (Rapamune®), tacrolimus (Prograf®), medicine to treat seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, Tegretol®), medicine to lower cholesterol (such as atorvastatin, pravastatin, simvastatin, Lipitor®), or medicine to treat a fungal infection (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, Nizoral®). Make sure your doctor knows if you also use certain blood pressure medicines (such as diltiazem, felodipine, nicardipine, nifedipine, verapamil, Cardizem®), an estrogen hormone replacement or birth control pill (such as ethinyl estradiol, norgestimate, Estinyl®, Ortho-Cyclen®, Ortho Tri-Cyclen®), or birth control implant (such as etonogestrel, Implanon®).
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Your baby could be harmed if you use this medicine while you are pregnant. Use 2 forms of birth control to prevent pregnancy while you take this medicine and for 12 weeks after you stop it. Some birth control pills may not work as well while you use this medicine. Use another form of birth control with your pills to avoid pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
- You should not breastfeed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you might give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
- 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.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you have kidney disease, liver disease (including hepatitis), or osteoporosis. Tell your doctor if you have a history of bone problems, seizures, mental illness, emotional problems, or drug or alcohol use. Tell your doctor if you regularly drink alcohol.
- Two rare but serious reactions to this medicine are lactic acidosis (too much acid in the blood) and liver toxicity. These reactions are more common if you are female, obese, or have been taking HIV medicines for a long time. Call your doctor right away if you have abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, muscle cramping or pain, unusual tiredness or weakness, trouble breathing, or yellow skin or eyes.
- This medicine may increase your risk for serious mental or behavioral problems. Tell your doctor if you begin to feel depressed or aggressive, or if you have any thoughts about hurting yourself.
- This medicine may weaken your bones and increase your risk for broken bones. Talk to your doctor about this if you have any concerns.
- This medicine may cause changes in your body fat. Tell your doctor if you notice more fat in your upper back and neck or around the chest and stomach area. You may also lose fat from your legs, arms, and face.
- Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any changes in your health. Sometimes the immune system will start to fight infections that were hidden in your body, such as pneumonia, herpes, or tuberculosis. Autoimmune disorders (such as Graves disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) may also occur.
- This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
- Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
- 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
- Blistering, peeling, red skin rash
- Change in how much or how often you urinate
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools, yellow skin or eyes
- Extreme weakness or tiredness
- Fast or pounding heartbeat
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness
- Severe depression, confusion, aggressiveness, thoughts of hurting yourself or others
- Sudden and severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting
- Trouble breathing
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Bone, joint, or muscle pain
- Fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and body aches
- Mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach
- Mild skin rash, itching, change in skin color
- Trouble sleeping, unusual dreams, anxiety or mood changes
- Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, or waist