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Viread/3TC versus Truvada
Apr 20, 2005

I am a HIV/HCV coinfected female, 44 years of age, undetectable HIV RNA, 30% T-cells, and stage 0/1 liver fibrosis. My question relates to HIV HAART treatment. I changed treatment about 8 months ago from Viread/Viramune/3TC/Ziagen (Viread once daily and all others twice daily) to Truvada/Viramune (Truvada once daily and Viramune twice daily). My doctor wanted your opinion as to the following: Is the Truvada/Viramune combo as effective as a Viread/3TC/Viramune combo? Thanks so much for your help!!

Response from Dr. Sherer

Yes, the Truvada/Viramune combination can reasonably be expected to be as effective as the Viread/3TC/Viramune combination.

The only difference between the two regimens is that the former contains the combination pill Truvada, which combines Viread (tenofovir) and emtricitabine (FTC), while the latter regimen contains Viread and Epivir (lamivudine or 3TC) as separate pills.

In clinical trials comparing FTC and 3TC, there were no significant differences between regimens containing these two drugs in standard ART regimens in terms of virologic response, CD4 cell response, or toxicities. They are structurally very similar, and act in the same way to inhibit reverse transcriptase. The major difference is the longer plasma half life of FTC; however, both are approved for once daily dosing.

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