It is very important that your doctor check the progress of you or your child 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 taking this medicine.
You should not use this medicine if you or your child are also taking adefovir (Hepsera®), Atripla®, Complera®, Emtriva®, or Viread®. Do not use this medicine if you are also using medicines containing lamivudine (e.g., Combivir®, Epivir®, Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Trizivir®). Tell your doctor right away if you or your child are using any of these medicines. Do not start using emtricitabine and tenofovir combination until your doctor tells you to.
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 abdominal or stomach discomfort, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fast, shallow breathing, general feeling of discomfort, muscle pain or cramping, nausea, shortness of breath, sleepiness, 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.
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.
This medicine may cause you to have excess body fat. Tell your doctor if you or your child notice changes in your body shape, such as an increased amount of fat in the upper back and neck, or around the chest and stomach area. You might also lose fat from the legs, arms, and face.
Your immune system may get stronger when you start taking 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 (such as Graves' disease, polymyositis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome) may also occur.
Emtricitabine and tenofovir combination does not decrease the risk of transmitting the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or by contamination through blood. HIV may be acquired from or spread to others through infected body fluids, including blood, vaginal fluid, or semen. If you are infected, it is best to avoid any sexual activity involving an exchange of body fluids with other people. If you do have sex, always wear (or have your partner wear) a condom (“rubber”). Only use condoms made of latex or polyurethane and use them every time you have contact with semen, vaginal secretions, or blood. Also, do not share needles or equipment with anyone or use dirty needles. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.
If you are using this medicine for Pre-Exposure prophylaxis:
- You should be confirmed that you are HIV-negative before you start taking this medicine.
- You and your partner should be tested regularly (for at least 3 months) for HIV-1. You should also be tested for other sexually transmitted disease, such as 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.
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.