Precautions

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects. You should remain under the care of a doctor while using this medicine.

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. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have stomach discomfort, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fast, shallow breathing, general feeling of discomfort, muscle pain or cramping, nausea, sleepiness, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin.

This medicine may cause rare, but serious, liver problems. This is more common in patients with a history of hepatitis B infection or those who already have liver disease. Check with your doctor right away if you have clay-colored stools, dark urine, a decreased appetite, a fever, a headache, itching, nausea and vomiting, a skin rash, stomach pain or tenderness, swelling of the feet or lower legs, unusual tiredness or weakness, or yellow eyes or skin.

This medicine is not for the treatment of hepatitis B virus infection. Patients infected with both HBV and HIV who take emtricitabine and tenofovir combination need close medical follow-up for several months after stopping treatment to make sure their hepatitis B infection does not get worse. You should also be tested for hepatitis B before starting treatment with this medicine.

This medicine may cause kidney problems. Avoid using other medicines that may injure the kidneys, including multiple or high-dose NSAID pain medications or certain other antiviral medications.

This medicine may also increase your risk of developing fractures (broken bones). Ask your doctor about this if you or your child have any concerns.

Your immune system may get stronger when you start using HIV medicines. Tell your doctor right away if you or your child 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 (including Graves disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) may also occur.

If you are using this medicine for Pre-exposure prophylaxis:

  • You should be confirmed that you are HIV-negative before you start using this medicine and you must stay HIV-negative to keep taking this medicine.
  • You and your partner should be tested regularly (for at least once every 3 months) for HIV-1. You should also be tested regularly for other sexually transmitted infections, including syphilis or gonorrhea.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have a fever, headache, joint or muscle pain, a rash, night sweats, or swollen lymph nodes.

This medicine does not decrease the risk of transmitting the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or by contaminated blood. Make sure you understand and practice safe sex, even if your partner also has HIV. Avoid sharing needles with anyone. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.