It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects. Also, you or your child should remain under the care of a doctor while taking emtricitabine.
You or your child should not use this medicine if you are also taking lamivudine, Atripla™, Combivir®, Epivir®, Epivir-HBV®, Epzicom®, Trizivir®, or Truvada®. Tell your doctor right away if you are using any of these medicines. Do not start using emtricitabine 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. Call your doctor right away if you or your child have more than one of these symptoms: abdominal discomfort or cramping; dark urine; decreased appetite; diarrhea; general feeling of discomfort; light-colored stools; muscle cramping or pain; nausea; unusual tiredness or weakness; trouble breathing; vomiting; or yellow eyes or skin.
This medicine may cause you or your child to have excess body fat. Tell your doctor right away if you notice changes in your body shape, including an increased amount of body fat in the neck or upper back, face, around the chest, or stomach area. You might also lose fat from your legs, arms, or face.
When you or your child start taking HIV medicines, your immune system may get stronger. If you have infections that are hidden in your body (e.g., pneumonia or tuberculosis), you may notice new symptoms when your body tries to fight them. If this occurs, tell your doctor right away.
You should not breastfeed if you have HIV or AIDS, because you may give the infection to your baby through your breast milk.
Emtricitabine does not decrease the risk of transmitting the HIV infection to others through sexual contact or by contamination through blood. HIV may be 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 with anyone or use dirty needles. If you have any questions about this, check with your doctor.