Emtriva

Generic Name: emtricitabine (em trye SYE ta been)
Brand Names: Emtriva

What is Emtriva?

Emtriva (emtricitabine) is an antiviral medication that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cells from multiplying in your body.

Emtriva is for treating HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Emtricitabine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Emtriva may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

Emtriva should not be taken together with any HIV combination medicine that contains Emtriva or lamivudine. This includes: Atripla, Combivir, Complera, Epivir, Epzicom, Stribild, Trizivir, and Truvada.

Emtriva may cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

Slideshow: Flashback: FDA Drug Approvals 2013

Emtriva may also cause severe liver damage, which can be fatal. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms of liver problems: nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using Emtriva. Visit your doctor regularly.

Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take Emtriva if you are allergic to emtricitabine.

Emtriva should not be taken together with any HIV combination medicine that contains emtricitabine or lamivudine. This includes:

  • Atripla (efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir);

  • Combivir (lamivudine and zidovudine);

  • Complera (rilpivirine, emtricitabine, and tenofovir);

  • Epivir (lamivudine);

  • Epzicom (abacavir and lamivudine);

  • Stribild (cobicistat, elvitegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir);

  • Trizivir (abacavir, lamivudine, and zidovudine); and

  • Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir).

To make sure Emtriva is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease (especially hepatitis B if you also have HIV);

  • kidney disease; or

  • if you have used a medicine similar to emtricitabine in the past, such as abacavir (Ziagen), didanosine (Videx), lamivudine (Epivir, Combivir, Epzicom, Trizivir), stavudine (Zerit), tenofovir (Viread), zalcitabine (Hivid), zidovudine (Retrovir), or emtricitabine combinations (Atripla, Complera, Truvada).

Some people develop a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking Emtriva. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, if you are a woman, or if you have taken HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

FDA pregnancy category B. Emtriva is not expected to harm an unborn baby. However, HIV can be passed to your baby if you are not properly treated during pregnancy. Take all of your HIV medicines as directed to control your infection.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

If you are pregnant, your name may be listed on a pregnancy registry. This is to track the outcome of the pregnancy and to evaluate any effects of Emtriva on the baby.

Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast feed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.

How should I take Emtriva?

Take Emtriva exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Emtriva can be taken with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

If a child is taking this medication, tell your doctor if the child has any changes in weight. Emtriva doses are based on weight in children.

While using Emtriva , you may need frequent blood tests. Your kidney and liver function may also need to be checked.

Do not take emtricitabine as your only HIV medication. HIV/AIDS is usually treated with a combination of drugs. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function for several months after you stop using Emtriva.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. Your disease may become resistant to Emtriva if you stop taking the medication even for a short time.

Store the capsules at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and direct light.

Store the liquid medicine in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

You may store the liquid at room temperature, but you must use it within 3 months.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid?

Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Do not have unprotected sex or share razors or toothbrushes. Talk with your doctor about safe ways to prevent HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.

Emtriva side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Emtriva: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Early symptoms of lactic acidosis may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, fast or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

Call your doctor at once if you have nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Emtriva may increase your risk of certain infections or autoimmune disorders by changing the way your immune system works. Symptoms may occur weeks or months after you start treatment. Tell your doctor if you have:

  • signs of a new infection--fever, night sweats, swollen glands, mouth sores, diarrhea, stomach pain, weight loss;

  • chest pain (especially when you breathe), dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;

  • cold sores, sores on your genital or anal area;

  • rapid heart rate, feeling anxious or irritable, weakness or prickly feeling, problems with balance or eye movement;

  • trouble speaking or swallowing, severe lower back pain, loss of bladder or bowel control; or

  • swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), menstrual changes, impotence, loss of interest in sex.

Common Emtriva side effects may include:

  • headache, mild dizziness, strange dreams;

  • mild diarrhea, mild nausea, upset stomach;

  • darkened patches of skin on your palms and/or soles;

  • mild skin rash; or

  • change in the shape or location of body fat (especially in the arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Emtriva?

Other drugs may interact with Emtriva, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Emtriva.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Emtriva only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.02. Revision Date: 2013-07-13, 12:44:01 PM.

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