An Overview of Descovy (Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide)
March 5, 2018
Brand Name: Descovy
Descovy can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include a buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) and liver problems.
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of lactic acidosis:
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems:
Descovy is not approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. If you have both HIV and HBV infection and take Descovy, your HBV infection may get much worse (flare up) if you stop taking Descovy.
While taking Descovy, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.
What Is Descovy?
Descovy is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children who weigh at least 77 pounds (35 kilograms). It is also approved for children who weigh at least 55 pounds (25 kilograms) and less than 77 pounds (35 kilograms) when used together with certain other HIV medicines. Descovy is always used in combination with other HIV medicines. Your health care provider will determine which other HIV medicines you will take.
Descovy contains the following two different medicines combined in one tablet:
NRTIs block an HIV enzyme called reverse transcriptase. (An enzyme is a protein that starts or increases the speed of a chemical reaction.) By blocking reverse transcriptase, the two drugs in combination prevent HIV from multiplying and can reduce the amount of HIV in the body.
HIV medicines can't cure HIV/AIDS, but taking a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. If you are taking HIV medicines, including Descovy, don't cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to.
What Should I Tell My Health Care Provider Before Taking Descovy?
Before taking Descovy, tell your health care provider:
How Should I Take Descovy?
Descovy comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains:
Take Descovy according to your health care provider's instructions.
Take Descovy once each day with or without food.
Always take Descovy in combination with other HIV medicines.
If you take too much Descovy, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
For more information on how to take Descovy, see the FDA drug label from DailyMed. (DailyMed is a federal website that includes the most recent drug labels submitted to FDA.)
What Should I Do If I Forget a Dose?
If you miss a dose of Descovy, contact your health care provider.
What Side Effects Can Descovy Cause?
Descovy may cause side effects. Many side effects from HIV medicines, such as nausea or occasional dizziness, are manageable. See the AIDSinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects for more information.
Some side effects from Descovy can be serious. Serious side effects of Descovy include a buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) and liver problems. (See the WARNING box above.)
Other possible side effects of Descovy include:
Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Descovy. To learn more about possible side effects of Descovy, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.
You can also report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/.
How Should Descovy Be Stored?
Where Can I Find More Information About Descovy?
More information about Descovy is available:
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet (film coated).
[Note from TheBody: This article was created by AIDSinfo, who last updated it on March 5, 2018. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]
This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.
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