Generic Name: tenofovir (ten-OF-oh-vir)
Brand Name: Viread
Severe and sometimes fatal lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the blood) and liver problems have occurred with this type of medicine. The risk may be greater in women, patients who are very overweight, or patients who have been taking nucleoside medicines (eg, emtricitabine, tenofovir) for a long time.
Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of lactic acidosis (eg, unusual weakness or tiredness; unusual muscle pain; fast or difficult breathing; stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feeling cold, especially in the arms and legs; dizziness or light-headedness; fast or irregular heartbeat). Tell your doctor right away if you develop symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, persistent loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pain).
Some patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who took tenofovir had severe worsening of HBV infection after they stopped taking it. Patients who have HBV infection need close medical follow-up to check for worsening liver problems for at least several months after they stop tenofovir. Keep all doctor and lab appointments. Do not stop taking tenofovir without checking with your doctor.
Tenofovir is used for:
Treating HIV infection in combination with other medicines. It is also used to treat chronic HBV infection. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Tenofovir is an antiviral reverse transcriptase inhibitor. It works to treat HIV infection by blocking the growth of HIV. It works to treat HBV infection by blocking the ability of the virus to multiply and infect new liver cells. Tenofovir is not a cure for HIV or HBV.
Do NOT use tenofovir if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in tenofovir
- you have severe liver problems (eg, an enlarged liver) or lactic acidosis
- you take adefovir or other medicines that contain tenofovir
- you take a medicine that may harm your kidneys (eg, an aminoglycoside antibiotic [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug [NSAID] [eg, ibuprofen], tacrolimus, vancomycin). Ask your doctor if you are not sure if any of your medicines might harm your kidneys
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using tenofovir:
Some medical conditions may interact with tenofovir. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of kidney problems (including kidney problems from taking another medicine called adefovir), or if you are on dialysis
- if you are overweight
- if you have a history of abnormal liver function tests or liver problems
- if you have both HIV and HBV infections
- if you have osteoporosis (weak bones), a family history of osteoporosis, or other risk factors of osteoporosis (eg, smoking, poor nutrition), or if you have a history of bone problems (eg, fracture)
- if you are unable to swallow tablets
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with tenofovir. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Acyclovir, cidofovir, ganciclovir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, or other medicines that may harm the kidneys (eg, aminoglycoside antibiotics [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, NSAIDs [eg, ibuprofen], tacrolimus, vancomycin) because they may increase the risk of tenofovir's side effects. Ask your doctor if you are not sure if any of your medicines might harm your kidneys
- Adefovir, lopinavir/ritonavir or other HIV protease inhibitors (eg, atazanavir), or medicines that contain tenofovir because they may increase the risk of tenofovir's side effects
- Didanosine because the risk of its side effects may be increased by tenofovir
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if tenofovir may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use tenofovir:
Use tenofovir as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with tenofovir. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Take tenofovir by mouth with or without food.
- Continue to take tenofovir even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- Taking tenofovir at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
- Do not suddenly stop taking tenofovir without checking with your doctor. This may cause the virus to become less sensitive to this or other medicines. If you have hepatitis B, your condition could become worse if you suddenly stop taking tenofovir.
- If you miss a dose of tenofovir, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use tenofovir.
Important safety information:
- Tenofovir may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use tenofovir with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- If you have HIV infection, you should be tested for HBV infection before you start to take tenofovir. If you have HBV infection, you should be tested for HIV infection before you start to take tenofovir.
- Do NOT take more than the recommended dose, change your dose, or stop taking tenofovir or any of your medicines without checking with your doctor.
- Keep a list of all the medicines that you take. Make a new list each time medicines are added or stopped. Find out about medicines that should not be taken while you are using tenofovir. Be sure that each of your health care providers knows all the medicines that you are taking.
- When your medicine supply is low, get more from your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you can. Do not stop taking tenofovir, even for a short period of time. If you do, the virus may grow resistant to the medicine and become harder to treat.
- Tenofovir is not a cure for HIV or HBV infection. Patients infected with HIV may still get illnesses and infections associated with the disease. Remain under the care of your doctor.
- Tenofovir does not stop the spread of HIV or HBV to others through blood or sexual contact. Do not have any kind of sex without protection (eg, latex or polyurethane condoms) if you have HIV or HBV infection. Do not share needles, injection supplies, or items like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your health care provider about ways to prevent the spread of HIV or HBV to others.
- If you have HBV infection, you will need close medical follow-up for several months after stopping treatment with tenofovir. Follow-up includes medical exams and blood tests to check for HBV infection that could be getting worse.
- Tenofovir may improve immune system function. This may reveal hidden infections in some patients. Tell your doctor right away if you notice symptoms of infection (eg, fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, shortness of breath) after you start tenofovir.
- Check with your doctor to see if you should take a calcium and vitamin D supplement while you are taking tenofovir.
- The risk of severe side effects (eg, lactic acidosis, severe liver problems) may be greater in women, patients who are very overweight (obese), and patients who have taken nucleoside medicines (eg, emtricitabine, tenofovir) for a long time. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your risk for severe side effects from tenofovir.
- Changes in body fat (eg, an increased amount of fat in the upper back, neck, breast, and trunk, and loss of fat from the legs, arms, and face) may occur in some patients taking tenofovir. The cause and long-term effects of these changes are unknown. Discuss any concerns with your doctor.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take tenofovir before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- Lab tests, including liver and kidney function and bone mineral density, may be performed while you use tenofovir. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use tenofovir with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 2 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- The dose of tenofovir in CHILDREN is determined based on body weight; they will need to have regular weight checks while they take tenofovir.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using tenofovir while you are pregnant. It is not known if tenofovir is found in breast milk. Mothers infected with HIV should not breast-feed. There is a risk of passing the HIV infection or tenofovir to the baby. Do not breast-feed while taking tenofovir.
Possible side effects of tenofovir:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Back pain; diarrhea; dizziness; gas; headache; indigestion; loss of appetite; nausea; runny or stuffy nose; sweating; tiredness; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weakness; weight loss.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); anxiety; bone pain; change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; depression; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; muscle pain, weakness, or cramping; numbness, burning, pain, or tingling in the hands or feet; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath; symptoms of lactic acidosis (eg, unusual weakness or tiredness; fast or difficult breathing; stomach pain with nausea and vomiting; feeling cold, especially in the arms and legs; dizziness or light-headedness; fast or irregular heartbeat); symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark urine; pale stools; persistent loss of appetite; stomach pain).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of tenofovir:
Store tenofovir at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Do not use tenofovir if the seal over the bottle opening is broken or missing. Keep tenofovir in its original container and keep the container tightly closed. Do not keep medicine that is out of date or that you no longer need. If you throw any medicines away, make sure that children or pets cannot find them. Keep tenofovir out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about tenofovir, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Tenofovir is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take tenofovir or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about tenofovir. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to tenofovir. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using tenofovir.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.