Question

Dear Doc Benjamin,i just start new meds two day ago as mention abv.previously i was on stocrin,3tc,lamivurdine.my latest cd4 was 501 and my vr below 20.i been told by the Doc to consume lots of h2o since i start with Tenvir-EM.may i know also what does generic drugs mean.Thank you.

Answer

Hello and thanks for posting.

Tenvir-EM is a generic version of tenofovir/emtricitabine, a medication more widely known as the brand Truvada. Generic means that the medications are produced sometimes without official license from the patent holder (in this case, the US-based company, Gilead), and are generally much less expensive that the brand name product.

I suspect that you mistyped your previous medications, Stocrin (efavirenz) and 3TC (this is also lamivudine, Epivir), since as you've listed it, you're either taking only two medications.

Either way, the combination of tenofovir, lamivudine and efavirenz is a very highly recommended and commonly used first-line HIV treatment. There's no specific need to consume extra water with this regimen, though since tenofovir is rarely associated with kidney injury, I'll tend to remind my patients taking this medication not to get dehydrated and avoid excess non-steroidal antinflammatory medications (like ibuprofen), since either of these situations can increase risk of kidney damage.

I hope that helps, BY