April 27, 2017
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Emtriva Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking emtricitabine (Emtriva)?

You should not take emtricitabine if you are allergic to it.

Emtricitabine should not be taken together with any HIV combination medicine that contains emtricitabine or lamivudine. This includes:

  • Atripla (efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir);
  • Combivir (lamivudine and zidovudine);
  • Complera (rilpivirine, emtricitabine, and tenofovir);
  • Epivir (lamivudine);
  • Epzicom (abacavir and lamivudine);
  • Trizivir (abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine); and
  • Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir).

To make sure you can safely take emtricitabine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease (especially hepatitis B if you also have HIV);
  • kidney disease; or
  • if you have used a medicine similar to emtricitabine in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), lamivudine (Epivir, Combivir, Epzicom, Trizivir), stavudine (Zerit), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), zidovudine (Retrovir), or emtricitabine combinations (Atripla, Complera, Truvada).

Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking emtricitabine. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, if you are a woman, or if you have taken HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

FDA pregnancy category B. Emtricitabine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. However, HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of emtricitabine on the baby.

Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.

How should I take emtricitabine (Emtriva)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Do not take emtricitabine as your only HIV medication. HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

Emtricitabine can be taken with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using emtricitabine. Visit your doctor regularly.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver and kidney function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

If a child is taking this medication, tell your doctor if the child has any changes in weight. Emtricitabine doses are based on weight in children.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. Your disease may become resistant to emtricitabine if you stop taking the medication even for a short time.

Store emtricitabine capsules at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and direct light.

Store emtricitabine liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

You may store the liquid at room temperature, but you must use it within 3 months.

Side Effects Centers

Emtriva - User Reviews

Emtriva User Reviews

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