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Emtricitabine Capsules

Generic Name: Emtricitabine Capsules (EM trye SYE ta been)
Brand Name: Emtriva

Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018

Warning

  • Hepatitis B has gotten worse when this medicine (emtricitabine capsules) was stopped in some people with hepatitis B. Close follow-up for a few months is needed when therapy is stopped in people who have hepatitis B. Do not stop taking this medicine (emtricitabine capsules) without calling your doctor. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine is not approved to treat hepatitis B. Hepatitis B testing needs to be done before taking this medicine (emtricitabine capsules). Talk with your doctor.

Uses of Emtricitabine Capsules:

See also: Atripla

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Emtricitabine Capsules?

  • If you have an allergy to emtricitabine or any other part of this medicine (emtricitabine capsules).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you are taking another drug that has the same drug in it.
  • If you are taking lamivudine.
  • If you are breast-feeding. Do not breast-feed while you take this medicine (emtricitabine capsules).

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine (emtricitabine capsules).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine (emtricitabine capsules) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Emtricitabine Capsules?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine (emtricitabine capsules). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not run out of this medicine (emtricitabine capsules).
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • This medicine is not a cure for HIV. Stay under the care of your doctor.
  • This medicine does not stop the spread of diseases like HIV or hepatitis that are passed through blood or having sex. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Do not share needles or other things like toothbrushes or razors. Talk with your doctor.
  • This medicine may rarely cause swollen liver and an acid health problem in the blood. This may be deadly in some cases. The chance may be higher in women, in overweight people, and in people who have taken drugs like this one for a long time. Talk with your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this medicine (emtricitabine capsules) while you are pregnant.

How is this medicine (Emtricitabine Capsules) best taken?

Use this medicine (emtricitabine capsules) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Keep taking this medicine (emtricitabine capsules) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • It is important that you do not miss or skip a dose of this medicine (emtricitabine capsules) during treatment.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • If you are not sure what to do if you miss a dose, call your doctor.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Signs of too much lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) like fast breathing, fast heartbeat, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, feeling very sleepy, shortness of breath, feeling very tired or weak, very bad dizziness, feeling cold, or muscle pain or cramps.
  • Low mood (depression).
  • Change in color of skin.
  • Changes in your immune system can happen when you start taking drugs to treat HIV. If you have an infection that you did not know you had, it may show up when you take this medicine (emtricitabine capsules). Tell your doctor right away if you have any new signs after you start this medicine (emtricitabine capsules), even after taking it for several months. This includes signs of infection like fever, sore throat, weakness, cough, or shortness of breath.

What are some other side effects of Emtricitabine Capsules?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Headache.
  • Not able to sleep.
  • Strange or odd dreams.
  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Runny nose.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Emtricitabine Capsules?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine (emtricitabine capsules), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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