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Reviewed by Dr Roy Kedem, MD
Information last reviewed 04/12/21
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a medication that reduces your risk of contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). When taken daily, PrEP medications can reduce the risk of infection through sex by 99%. It is important to note that PrEP does not protect against other STIs or pregnancy. Therefore, condom use is still recommended.
Emtricitabine-tenofovir is a combination of two medications, emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Individuals at high risk of contracting HIV can take this medication for PrEP to reduce the risk of becoming infected.
Emtricitabine-tenofovir works by blocking the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from making more copies of itself in the body.
Individuals at risk of becoming infected with HIV should take emtricitabine-tenofovir. It can only be prescribed to HIV-negative adults weighing at least 77 pounds. The groups most at risk for contracting HIV include gay or bisexual men, transgender women who have sex with men and injection drug users.
Emtricitabine-tenofovir should not be taken for PrEP by individuals who already have HIV. A negative HIV test is therefore required directly before starting PrEP. Emtricitabine-tenofovir should not be taken if you already take:
PrEP is provided to reduce your risk of contracting HIV before you are exposed. PEP reduces your risk of becoming infected after exposure. PEP is taken for 28 days after exposure, while PrEP should be taken indefinitely. PEP is only intended for emergency use.
Emtricitabine-tenofovir is the generic version of Truvada. Both medications contain the same active ingredient but the generic version is less costly.
The active ingredients in emtricitabine-tenofovir (Truvada) are emtricitabine at a concentration of 200mg and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate at a concentration of 300mg.
The inactive ingredients in Truvada are croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, and pregelatinized starch.
Emtricitabine-tenofovir (Truvada) is available in the following dosages: 100-150mg, 133-200mg, 167-250mg, and 200-300mg.
The only dosage currently recommended for preventing HIV is 200-300mg. The other dosages are used to treat active HIV infection.
Take the medication as prescribed by your doctor. Emtricitabine-tenofovir (Truvada) is usually taken once a day by mouth, with or without food, at the same time every day. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember as long as it is the same day. Never take more than one dose in a single day.
It is very important that you do not miss any doses of emtricitabine-tenofovir (Truvada). To ensure you receive your next refill in time, please be sure to order the medication ahead of time and account for any testing that may need to be completed. Testing must be completed independently prior to ordering PrEP from Medzino.
Common side effects in people who take emtricitabine-tenofovir for PrEP include:
If any of these side effects persist or cause discomfort, talk to your physician.
Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
To start PrEP, individuals should complete lab testing for:
Please note that testing needs to be completed prior to your consultation with Medzino. You can get a complete PrEP panel with one appointment at Quest Diagnostics.
Lab testing needs to be completed before starting PrEP. Once you have started PrEP, you will need to get tested every 3 months.
You can take Truvada at any time of the day but it should be taken at the same time every day. It is taken by mouth with or without food.
Truvada takes about seven days to become effective for receptive anal sex. For insertive anal sex, vaginal sex, and all other activities, it takes about 21 days to become effective.
Truvada is manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc.
The first generic for Truvada has been recently approved. Typically, the first generic of a drug has patent exclusivity for six months meaning that other manufacturers cannot market their generic brands until after the six months. Once this six month period of exclusivity expires, additional manufacturers are allowed to market their generic brands which drives competitive pricing and makes the generic medication available at a lower cost. Currently there are only two pharmaceutical companies manufacturing generic Truvada: Mylan and Amneal.
You can purchase generic Truvada (emtricitabine-tenofovir) directly from Medzino. One of our doctors will review your medical information to make sure the medication is right for you.
In clinical studies, Truvada has not been shown to cause weight gain. A common side effect of taking Truvada is actually weight loss.
It is safe to drink alcohol while taking Truvada but it can increase your risk for certain side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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