Treats human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. HIV causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Emtricitabine does not cure HIV or AIDS, but combinations of drugs 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 emtricitabine.
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.
- Emtricitabine is used with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicines your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Keep taking this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better.
- You should take this medicine every day and try not to miss any doses. 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 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. Do not freeze. If you must keep the liquid at room temperature, throw away any unused liquid after 3 months.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.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.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using lamivudine, Atripla®, Combivir®, Complera®, Epivir®, Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Stribild?, Trizivir®, or Truvada®. You should not use these medicines with emtricitabine.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, or if you have kidney disease or liver disease, especially hepatitis B.
- You should not breastfeed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you might give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
- Two rare but serious reactions to this medicine are lactic acidosis (build-up of acid in the blood) and an enlarged liver. These are more common if you are female, very overweight, or have been taking anti-HIV medicines for a long time. Call your doctor right away if you feel very tired, weak, or nauseated, if you vomit or have trouble breathing, or if your skin or eyes have turned yellow.
- 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 Graves disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, pneumonia, or tuberculosis.
- This medicine may cause you to have excess body fat. Tell your doctor if you notice changes in your body shape, such as more fat in your upper back and neck, or around the chest and stomach area. You might also lose fat from your legs, arms, and face.
- 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.
- Do not change your dose or stop taking this medicine, even for a short time, without talking to your doctor.
- 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
- Change in how much or how often you urinate
- Dark-colored urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
- Extreme weakness, tiredness, or confusion
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Lightheadedness or fainting
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Changes to skin color on your hands or feet
- Cough, stuffy or runny nose
- Diarrhea, nausea
- Headache or dizziness
- Mild rash
- Tiredness or weakness
- Unusual dreams, trouble sleeping
- Weight gain around your neck, upper back, breast, face, or waist