User Reviews for Biktarvy to treat HIV Infection
Biktarvy has an average rating of 7.2 out of 10 from a total of 115 ratings for the treatment of HIV Infection. 57% of those users who reviewed Biktarvy reported a positive effect, while 19% reported a negative effect.
“I have been taking Biktarvy for more than 3 months and I feel necessary to share my experience due to the amount of negative comments about it in this forum, so I was very afraid to make the change. I've been taking complera since I was 20 years old, making it undetectable since 2017. I have not had any problems with this new pill, I trust that it is less harmful to the body. Don't be afraid to make the switch! Cheer up, we're all in this together.”
“02/13/2021 is the date of my diagnosis. My CD4 count at the time of my diagnosis had been 700 but my VL 1,750,000. My body didn’t develop antibodies because the HIV infection had been just a days to few weeks in. I started Biktarvy on 02/17/2021 and have had zero side effects. I work in a maximum security prison and had the Doctor at my job write me a script for the CD4 count and VL the CD4 came back at 1.030 which is a drastic increase and we are awaiting for the VL count. My Infectious Disease doctor doesn’t want to do labs until a few months. Hopefully when the VL results come back I am close to being undetectable or very near to it.”
“I don't know what to think or how to feel about Biktarvy. I have experienced the diarrhea, nausea, brainfog, light headness and faintness. Now I'm experiencing headaches, and pressure on head, and my head feel heavy at times. The doctor says the meds are working, but why do I feel so bad if I'm healing? I have been to the ER several times and they all have said that my blood work looks fine and they can't find anything wrong. I don't know if I should change my meds, or is this normal to have theses types of side effects. I've been having bad days since 02/15/2021. At times I feel better and at times I feel irritable. I don't feel sick or ill, I just feel ill and slow motion at times. I pray that someone please find a cure or vaccine to get rid of this virus. A cure or vaccine for ALL. I'm on my knees begging to whoever have the knowledge to come with the cure for HIV and aids to please have a heart and CURE US ALL PLEASE.”
Frequently asked questions
- Which medicines should not be taken with Biktarvy?
- Can Biktarvy be used for PrEP or PEP?
- Does Biktarvy cause weight gain?
- What is Biktarvy used for?
- What if I miss a dose of Biktarvy?
“I have been HIV+ since 1999. The Biktarvy introduction was one of the worst I’ve had during my arduous journey. My entire body was in pain, exhausted, my stomach hurt, with no energy. After about 3 weeks it started to normalize so I continued. I am finishing up my 3rd month of treatment and things seem worse. I am very active but the pain in my gluteus, legs, and feet are horrible. When I work out I can’t seem to recover for days. Every morning my stomach is bloated with dull pain. I have had concerning mental blocks, I am now a med student and need to be able to recall things on demand, so this is causing challenges. Problems sleeping and often wake up in the middle of the night having the “is it worth it” moments. The other thing I have noticed is depression, something I haven’t had since my young 20s. This could all be due to the lack of sleep and the constant pain and frustration, but I just feel off. I hope sharing helps someone else.”
“I was diagnosed with HIV February 26, 2019. I had a viral load of 1,170,000+ and a cd4 count of 16. As of December 16, 2019 I am undetectable with a cd4 of 122. I have hives and a rash on my arms and shoulders, mostly when I get out of the shower, but nothing that isn't manageable with skin cream. I'm still having a hard time dealing with HIV, but I am trying to be strong. Because of this medicine, and it being one pill a day, I have not missed a dose. My insurance covers most of the cost, and a coupon covers the remaining bill. I hope they find a vaccine and one day a cure.”
“I was diagnosed with HIV in 2014 and have remained undetectable with 960+ cd4 counts taking Triumeq ever since. On it, I experienced light nausea and occasional insomnia. My doctor suggested I switch to Biktarvy for future kidney benefits. After 3 months on Biktarvy my long hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows have fallen out. It began with a few extra hairs on my brush to now bald patches all over my head. I don’t have a history of alopecia. All labs to rule out other causes came back normal. Dermatologist found no external causes. The only change in my life has been the switch in HIV meds. Regardless, the doctor insisted that it cannot be related to Biktarvy and wanted me to continue on it. I refused and asked to be put back on Triumeq. I know hair loss is not considered a side effect of Biktarvy, but I am posting in case others out there are experiencing it. I will update on any changes made by going back to Triumeq.”
“I have been on Biktarvy now for about 6 months and the verdict is still out. I took Atripla for 7 years and it was my miracle drug worked great with no side effects but my new doctor recommended Biktarvy saying it was better for my liver and kidneys long term bc 1 of the 3 drugs was less toxic. I agreed and switch but now I feel like in in a fog and have been getting lightheaded spells. My pulse has also been low and I blacked out driving. I have had many tests and CT scan but everything was good. So now I am thinking Biktarvy may be the culprit. Anyone having these same side effects.”
- How fast or how long does it take Biktarvy to work?
- Does Biktarvy increase cholesterol?
- What is the difference between Biktarvy and Descovy?
- What is the generic name for Biktarvy?
“My doctor suggested I try Biktarvy as a replacement for Genvoya since it doesn't have to be taken with food, and I decided to try it. After a couple of days I had severe fatigue and sweating bad enough that it was difficult to get out of bed. I switched back to Genvoya for a couple of days and the fatigue went away. I told my doc about this and he suggested I try Biktarvy again because he said severe fatigue isn't that common and thought it might be something else. I switched back and the next day the fatigue was back just as bad if not worse than the first time. I was tired, depressed, and lethargic. Yesterday I again switched back to Genvoya and today I feel normal again. Clearly Biktarvy is a good drug that works for many people, but I'm posting this for anyone having the same side effects so you'll know you aren't alone.”
“So I was diagnosed September 29th 2018 with full blown AIDs!!!(I’m 35 so I can use that term). I only found out because I got sick and had pneumonia and it was the type of pneumonia I had. My cd4 count was 8 and my viral load off the chart! It’s been a year and my viral load is undetectable and my cd4 count is 208!!!!!! Amazing”
“I’ve been on Biktarvy since I was diagnosed over 2 years ago. When I started, my viral load was in the millions and my CD4 was 150. Just 3 months after starting the drug, my viral load was undetectable and CD4 raised to 700. I’m 2 years positive now and am in the best health of my life! I have MINIMAL side effects. The drug gives me constant gas and at times I feel muscle fatigue but other than that, no MAJOR side effects. I began to gain a little weight at the 18 month point but adjusted my diet and exercise and feel the best I’ve ever felt! my doctor just told me my VL is 18 and my CD4 is 1200! My blood levels are all normal or above normal and besides the VL of 18, there’s no evidence elsewhere that I’m HIV positive. My suggestion for those beginning it is to give it time, workout and eat better.”
“Hi , after using Atripla for years my doctor thought it was time for the newer drug Biktarvy. Well I immediately had bad dreams and slowly this had an effect on my daily temper as well. After a few weeks it got me down so much it started to bother me. So after using it for about 4 months I changed back to Atripla and all is fine again. Best Regards BTW 26 years positive and on meds for about 20 years 700 cd4 and undetectable”
“I was newly diagnosed with HIV last May 07, 2019. My VL was 60K, and CD4 <300. I began taking Biktarvy almost immediately after being diagnosed. I experienced tiredness, dizziness, and a low intensity headache when I began treatment. Those side effects subsided after 2 weeks. As of Sept, 2019 my VL is <20, and CD4 >850 (undetectable). I feel very happy, and confident about my treatment.”
“Diagnosed in 1988. The lack of sleep is the worst. I wake up multiple (5 - 10x) in a 5 hour span. I am tired constantly, achy, foot pain, lower back pain, nausea, upper abdominal pain and extremely depressed over how poorly I feel. I called my doc and requested a change of meds. I have lost my eyebrows, losing eye lashes and hair is thinning. He doesn't believe these issues are caused by the medicine but I believe it is as the issues didn't happen until after I started Biktarvy.”
“30 years HIV+. This biktarvy is nasty & experimental & a $10 billion dollar bonanza for the company pushing this poison. Here's why... took it for a month... Gave me upper pain in stomach just below rib cage. Gave me nasty smelling severe diarrhea smelt like traveling behind a vehicle with emergency brakes on while burning oil. That smell made me nauseous. At night time would get a reflux that was nasty like raw crude oil taste. Very dry mouth teeth and tongue. Gave me horrible night and day sweats behind neck, behind knees, arm pits and inner elbows. Gotten extremely dry mouth. Called my doctor went back to taking good ole atripla. My gut, heart, 6th sense, guardian angel and mind tells me biktarvy is bad ju ju. Had very dark nightmares and dark depression. Actually awoken up from my dark nightmares...Imo this drug is terrible and scares me to death. Doubt they'll publish this. I'll save in favorites and check back. Very Angry my doctor pushed this drug on me. Kick backs?”
“My Experience, this is my 3rd refill trying to hang in there, former medication Atripla. Now taking Biktary. My feet has become sensitive to walk on they feel ache and tired. Biktary does not mesh well with seafood, breaks me out upper chest area. Also IU notice a change in my skin acne / rash like bumps appear. Trying to hang in there keep you posted but pray for me.”
“Started Biktarvy 3 months ago. Now HIV is undetectable but I have to take sleeping pills. Vivid dreams are occasional and I often feel tired and with nausea. But you get used to it. Much rather take this pill than not be here anymore”
“Great clinical results, but after a year on Bik, I still have mild dizziness. It's most notable when I exercise or do yoga. My doc doesn't seem concerned, but it is frustrating... Anyone found a work-around for dizziness?”
“I have been taking Biktarvy for 3 months now. I've been positive for 18 years and this is combo number 5. This time the switch was solely financial in going back to a one a day pill. I have to say I almost gave up on it after 2 weeks due to the extreme fatigue and joint pain but I was overseas for 3 weeks with no other option. I'm glad I continued because after the initial side effects subsided I have had no issues, I would recommend it highly but give the side effects some time to clear up if you get them, don't give up too soon!”
“I started Biktarvy in 2018, and a few weeks later I developed alopecia areata which has continued to worsen since. I have a childhood history of alopecia areata (coin-sized areas of hair loss) which would only last about 3-4 months and then hair would grow back. However, since starting Biktarvy alopecia has actually spread and I’d say I’ve lost 40% of my hair. I saw a few past reviews about hair loss, and I was told it was not the medication but I believe it triggered it because I keep losing hair and it’s been more than 2 years. No other side effects.”
“Was diagnosed HIV positive on August 24th of 2019. Went to the hospital for cellulitis and got the news. CD4 count at 24 very low, AIDS range. Started treatment September 11th and feel a lot better. I notice small burst of energy randomly almost like I’m reconstructing. At first I had a pretty tough time sleeping. I don’t know if it was because of the diagnoses or meds. Crazy dreams was an issue for a short period. I haven’t let this slow me down because I’m the same person I was before I knew I was positive. Currently fighting a skin infection, but along with antibiotics. I can’t wait to get my updated CD4 number, I don’t remember what my viral load was so that’ll be a surprise as well. I’ll update around the 13th of December because that’ll be a solid 90 days. Gained about 23lbs as well. There is a Biktarvy support group and HIV support group on drugs.com ”
“This is my second post on this website. I'm HIV positive since July'2020. I have been on Biktarvy for 4 months. I had my lab tests done after 2 months and a half. My viral load was undetectable and my CD4 raised from 459 yo 595. Not bad so far. Symptoms? I had headaches por a while. They seem to be better now. Keep strong mates!”
“Diagnosed HIV+ on 2016 and went on Stribild with zero side effects. I started to read on different forums Stribild was having long term negative effect on liver, kidney and bone health. I asked to go on Biktarvy. Currently undetectable, but CD4 dropped from 1077 to 920 (still good though). However, I'm ALWAYS tired now. If I'm not in bed by 11 I'm annoyed, really weird mood swings and the most ridiculous far fetched dreams that I've actually been able to control while I'm sleeping. I wake up and feel like I haven't slept because of the non stop hyperactive dreams. I've also woken up just crying. Once a week I feel like I have the flu too. Kinda want to go back to Stribild...dunno what to do...”
“I’m Hiv+ since 2015 and I already changed 3 type of medications: first was Straibild, than Genvoya and now Biktarvy. The last one is literally the best for me, no side effects, sometimes nightmare but compared the past medications I really prefer this one. And really important is that you can take it also without food!! Amazing!!”
“I have noticed extreeme fatigue, mood swings, nightmares that have affected my day to day living. I was changed to this treatment because of the lower reported side effects shown in clinical trials in relation to Mental Health and Biktarvy. I have extreme mood swings, chronic fatigue, sweating, diarrhea, muscle pains, mental blocks, memory problems and stomach / acid reflux, urinating excessively, difficulties with libido involuntary body movements and night sweats/ mares. This is my 5th HAARRT regime since 2010 (diagnosed in 2002), I have been told this is the newest and best drug to treat the virus with less side effects (significantly less reported mental health problems with this drug). It has not been as problematic as previous regimes which included Atripla, Truvada, Nervirapine etc however, as with all HAARRT treatments side effects are expected. I have suffered extreme side effects from all HAARRT treatments which has been physically and mentally disabling.”
“I have been HIV+ for 15 years, on Medicare for 10 years. I started with Truvada and Isentress. My doctor switched me to Descovy and Isentress because it was less harmful to liver and kidneys. My new doctor wanted me to switch to Biktarvy. My counts have stayed fine. I have been on it for 1 1/2 months. Nobody has mentioned this, but these two things are driving me crazy. I am experiencing terrible ear and sinus pressure. Caffeine seems to make it worse. Also my feet are either freezing or they are burning up. My doctor says it has nothing to do with the Biktarvy. I didn’t have it before. Plus, now my kidney functions seem to be declining. Up until now, I have done incredibly well. I guess I am an anomaly.... I would like to switch back to Descovy and Isentress to see if these things go away....My doctor is resistant. So frustrated....”
“I was diagnosed with HIV 1 week before my birthday. Having been very well informed about it, I wasn't really distraught. I was dating someone that told me he was taking his meds and was undetectable but I kinda felt like he wasn't. So now I'm HIV positive. Started Bictarvy 8 days ago and feel much better and my swollen lymph nodes have gone down. No side effects so far, I'll keep you guys posted.”
“Heres my update as promised :) Last April 2019 I posted that I will be starting my treatment with Biktarvy. My base numbers were : VL=135K and CD4=400+. I just had my blood work done (May 2019), literally 1 month (30 days) since starting with Biktarvy and happy to share that I am UNDETECTABLE within 1 month of treatment and my CD4=700+ :) No side effects whatsoever... Kidneys, Liver and Heart are all in good condition. This tiny pill (Biktarvy) is amazing and IT REALLY WORKS without any side effects !!! Feeling Thankful & Happy BirdBird (Toronto)”
“Biktarvy is great, I have been positive since 2013 and started on Stribild in April 2013. Stribild got me undetectable and I switched to Genvoya once it came on the market. I then switched to Biktarvy once that one came on the market and I have been undetectable ever since I started with my drug therapy. I haven't had any side effects except for loose stool but that is something I can deal with. Hope that helps.”
This information is NOT intended to endorse any particular medication. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners.
Learn more about HIV Infection
IBM Watson Micromedex
- HIV Infection
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Adolescents
Symptoms and treatments
Drugs.com Health Center
- AIDS and HIV Overview
- HIV and AIDS: Opportunistic Infections, Complications and Treatments
- Treatment Options for HIV and AIDS
- HIV Prevention: PrEP and Other Options
- HIV and AIDS Opportunistic Infections and Symptoms
- National HIV Testing Day
- 9 Facts About Current HIV Treatment
Mayo Clinic Reference
More about Biktarvy (bictegravir / emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide)
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- Drug class: antiviral combinations
- FDA Approval History