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Descovy Vs. Truvada

descovy vs truvada

Treating one of the world’s life-threatening medical conditions becomes uncomplicated because of the availability of several antiretroviral drugs. Aside from these drugs’ treatment properties, there is also a classification of medicines that prevent infection involving HIV. In this case, two of the major medicines used in treating and preventing HIV are Descovy and Truvada.

While these two medicines share most of the same functions, they have big differences that can change the interest of patients diagnosed with the infection.

Differences between Descovy and Truvada


  • Truvada is a mixture of two medicines, such as emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. This medicine is available in generic form.
  • Descovy is a mixture of two medicines, such as emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide. This medicine is NOT available in generic form.

Both of these medicines can only be acquired through a prescription from the doctor. They are also a part of a drug classification called NRTIs or nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.


(For Treating HIV)

  • Both medicines are approved in treating the infection for both adults and children. Just like other prescription medicines, any of these two (depending on the doctor’s assessment) must be consumed on a daily basis. The prescription will also depend on the patient’s weight. However, the usual weight needed for people who will take Truvada is 17 kgs. Meanwhile, for Descovy, 25 kgs are the required weight for patients.

(For PrEP)

  • Both medicines are approved in preventing the said infection. It means that they are utilized for PrEP use. These medicines are suitable for both men and women, from which the required weight should be at least 35 kgs. While they are medically compatible for both genders, Descovy has restrictions for use in women. If, in any case, a female is at high risk of acquiring the infection through genital sex, she is not allowed to use this medicine.

Cost and Pricing

  • As mentioned, Truvada has a generic version that patients can buy at a cheaper price. Meanwhile, Descovy is not available in its generic version, making it expensive. If pricing is your concern, you can discuss this with your physician to help you get a more affordable drug to consume.

Truvada prices

Descovy prices

Side Effects:

  • In terms of their side effects, since these two drugs share the same ingredients, they also tend to have similar adverse reactions. These reactions can be categorized as mild and severe. Some of these side effects are as follows:


  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea


  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Problems involving the liver
  • Allergic reactions

Truvada (Emtricitabine / Tenofovir) Side Effects

Descovy Side Effects


Aside from the effectiveness that these medicines have, there are also precautionary measures that patients need to take into account to ensure a smooth treatment process. If a patient has known hypersensitivity to any of these medicines’ ingredients, he/she is not allowed to consume Truvada or Descovy. Furthermore, always check with your doctor to know how the treatment goes and how the prevention functions.

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