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Truvada Side effects

Truvada Side effects

What is Truvada?

What is Truvada? Truvada contains a combination of antiviral drugs – emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide. These antiviral drugs prevent HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) from replicating in your body.

Truvada is a prescription medicine used for treating HIV infection. It helps prevent AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), the most advanced stage of HIV. Taking this medicine inhibits the development of opportunistic infections that only harms the body. Although Truvada is not a cure for HIV/AIDS, this medicine is effective enough in suppressing the virus and disallowing it spread within the body.

Besides treating HIV infection, Truvada also serves as a PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) medication. Taking Truvada as PrEP reduces a person’s risk of acquiring HIV. It is suitable for sexually active individuals. However, the person must have a negative HIV status and an adult to use Truvada as PrEP.

Emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide belongs to a drug class called Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs). This group of drugs functions by interfering with the ability of HIV to multiply or reproduce. They block a particular enzyme that HIV needs to make more copies of itself.

The dosage for Truvada differs by how you will use it. Consider the following doses of Truvada for both HIV treatment and prevention.

Usual adult dose for HIV treatment:

  • Take one tablet of Truvada, containing 200 mg emtricitabine and 300 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, once daily.

Usual pediatric dose for HIV treatment:

  • Take one tablet of Truvada, containing 167 mg emtricitabine and 250 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, once daily. (Children weighing 28 to 34 kilograms)
  • Take one tablet of Truvada, containing 133 mg emtricitabine and 200 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, once daily. (Children weighing 22 to 27 kilograms)
  • Take one tablet of Truvada, containing 100 mg emtricitabine and 150 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, once daily. (Children weighing 17 to 21 kilograms)

Usual adult dose for HIV prevention (PrEP):

  • Take one tablet of Truvada, containing 200 mg emtricitabine and 300 mg tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, once daily.

Note: Truvada is not suitable for children if used for PrEP. Only adults aged 18 years old and above can take Truvada for PrEP medication.

Before starting your treatment with Truvada, you must learn about its warnings and precautions. To ensure your safety with Truvada, tell your healthcare professional if you have a history of the following conditions:

  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Low bone mineral density (osteopenia)

Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to its composition. Avoid consuming Truvada PrEP with the purpose of reducing the risk for infection if you are positive for HIV, especially after being exposed for the past month.

Truvada side effects

Truvada encompasses a variety of adverse reactions, whether mild or severe. Here is the list of possible Truvada side effects you can experience while using this drug.

Common Truvada side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Sinusitis
  • Headache
  • Bone pain
  • Sore throat
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia

Severe side effects:

  • Depression
  • Loss of energy
  • Kidney problems
  • Bone loss
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Liver problems
  • Recurrent vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unusual weakness
  • Worsened hepatitis B infection

Note: The most common side effects do not require immediate medical care since they are manageable at home. However, contact your healthcare professional immediately if these reactions persist longer. Meanwhile, the listed severe side effects often require hospitalization to lessen their impact on the body.

Alternative drugs

Thanks to the development in treating infectious diseases, there are a lot of antiviral drugs today to choose from to treat HIV. If Truvada is not suitable for you, then your doctor may prescribe one of the following medications as an alternative.

For PrEP medication, only one alternative is available under the brand name Descovy. This medicine has the same functions as Truvada but differs slightly in its composition.



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