An Overview of Biktarvy (Bictegravir/Emtricitabine/Tenofovir Alafenamide)
February 20, 2018
Brand Name: Biktarvy
Biktarvy can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include a buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) and severe liver problems.
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of lactic acidosis:
Some people taking Biktarvy have had liver problems. People with a history of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection or people who have elevated results on liver function tests may have an increased risk of developing new or worsening liver problems while taking Biktarvy. Liver problems have also occurred in people taking Biktarvy who have no history of liver disease. Liver function tests may be done before and during treatment with Biktarvy.
Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems:
If you have both HIV and hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) and take Biktarvy, your HBV infection may get worse (flare up) if you stop taking Biktarvy. To help avoid this, take Biktarvy exactly as prescribed. Do not run out of Biktarvy or stop taking Biktarvy without talking to your health care provider.
If you take Biktarvy, you should not take other HIV medicines.
While taking Biktarvy, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.
What Is Biktarvy?
Biktarvy is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat HIV infection in adults:
Biktarvy is a complete regimen for the treatment of HIV infection and should not be used with other HIV medicines.
Biktarvy contains the following three different medicines combined in one pill:
Integrase inhibitors block an HIV enzyme called integrase and 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 integrase and reverse transcriptase, these three drugs work in combination to 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 Biktarvy, 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 Biktarvy?
Before taking Biktarvy, tell your health care provider:
How Should I Take Biktarvy?
Biktarvy comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains:
Take Biktarvy according to your health care provider's instructions.
Take Biktarvy with or without food. If you are taking any other medicines, carefully follow instructions on how to take them with Biktarvy.
If you take too much Biktarvy, 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 Biktarvy, see the FDA drug label from Drugs@FDA.
What Should I Do if I Forget a Dose?
If you miss a dose of Biktarvy, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.
What Side Effects Can Biktarvy Cause?
Biktarvy 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 of Biktarvy can be serious. Serious side effects of Biktarvy include a buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) and severe liver problems. (See the WARNING box above.)
Other possible side effects of Biktarvy 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 Biktarvy. To learn more about possible side effects of Biktarvy, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.
You can 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 Biktarvy Be Stored?
Where Can I Find More Information About Biktarvy?
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet.
[Note from TheBody.com: This article was created by AIDSinfo, who last updated it on Feb. 8, 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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