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Truvada Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: AccessPak for HIV PEP Basic, Truvada

Generic Name: emtricitabine and tenofovir (Pronunciation: em trye SYE ta been and ten OF oh vir)

What is emtricitabine and tenofovir (Truvada)?

Emtricitabine and tenofovir are antiviral drugs that work by preventing HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cells from multiplying in the body.

The combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir is used to treat HIV, which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Emtricitabine and tenofovir is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Emtricitabine and tenofovir may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


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What are the possible side effects of emtricitabine and tenofovir (Truvada)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

This medication may cause lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and get worse over time. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as:

  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs;
  • trouble breathing;
  • feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak;
  • stomach pain, nausea with vomiting; or
  • fast or uneven heart rate.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these other serious side effects:

  • signs of liver damage - nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • increased thirst, urinating more or less than usual or not at all;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath; or
  • signs of infection such as fever, chills, skin lesions, or cough with yellow or green mucus.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • diarrhea, mild nausea;
  • headache, tired feeling;
  • dizziness, depressed mood;
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams;
  • mild itching or skin rash;
  • runny or stuffy nose, cough; or
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and waist).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about emtricitabine and tenofovir (Truvada)?

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to emtricitabine (Emtriva) or tenofovir (Viread).

Do not take this medication with other medicines that also contain emtricitabine or tenofovir (Atripla, Emtriva, Viread), or lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epzicom, or Trizivir).

Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking emtricitabine and tenofovir. Early symptoms may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

Emtricitabine and tenofovir can cause severe or fatal liver problems. Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Side Effects Centers

Truvada - User Reviews

Truvada User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Truvada sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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