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An Overview of Emtriva (Emtricitabine)

November 28, 2016

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How Should I Take Emtricitabine?

Emtricitabine (brand name: Emtriva) comes in the following forms and strengths:

  • 200-mg capsules
  • 10-mg/mL oral solution. An oral solution is a mixture of a medicine and a liquid that can be taken by mouth.

Take emtricitabine according to your health care provider's instructions.

Take emtricitabine by mouth, with or without food.

Always take emtricitabine in combination with other HIV medicines.

If you take too much emtricitabine, 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 emtricitabine, 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 emtricitabine, 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 more than 1 dose of emtricitabine in a day. Do not take 2 doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

What Side Effects Can Emtricitabine Cause?

Emtricitabine may cause side effects. Most side effects from emtricitabine are manageable, but a few can be serious. Serious side effects of emtricitabine include lactic acidosis (buildup of lactic acid in the blood) and serious liver problems. (See the WARNING box above.)

Other possible side effects of emtricitabine include:

  • Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), a condition that sometimes occurs when the immune system begins to recover after treatment with an HIV medicine. As the immune system gets stronger, it may have an increased response to a previously hidden infection.
  • Changes in body fat (including gain or loss of fat)
  • Skin discoloration

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 emtricitabine. To learn more about possible side effects of emtricitabine, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.

The AIDSinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects also includes information that may apply to emtricitabine.

You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online at

How Should Emtricitabine Be Stored?

  • Store emtricitabine capsules between 59°F and 86°F (15°C to 30°C).
  • Store emtricitabine oral solution in a refrigerator, between 36°F and 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Do not freeze the oral solution. Or store emtricitabine oral solution at room temperature for up to 3 months. After the 3 months, throw away any remaining solution in the bottle.
  • Do not use emtricitabine if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
  • Throw away emtricitabine that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
  • Keep emtricitabine and all medicines out of reach of children.

Where Can I Find More Information About Emtricitabine?

More information about emtricitabine is available:

Manufacturer Information

Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Main number: 800-445-3235
Patient assistance: 800-226-2056

The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Capsule, solution.

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This article was provided by AIDSinfo. Visit the AIDSinfo website to find out more about their activities and publications.
See Also
More on HIV Medications
More on FTC (Emtricitabine, Emtriva)