Skip to main content

Does Biktarvy cause acne?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Feb 27, 2024.

Official answer


Acne has not been reported as a side effect of Biktarvy in clinical studies. Rash is an uncommon side effect that occurred in less than 2% of patients taking this medicine. Other skin side effects, such as angioedema, Stevens-Johnson syndrome / toxic epidermal necrolysis, and urticaria (hives) have also been reported.

In general, Biktarvy is well tolerated by most patients. The most common side effects in 634 adults in clinical trials were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%). These side effects tend to be mild and go away in a few days or weeks. If your side effects are severe or do not go away, contact your doctor right away.

In studies, this medicine was stopped due to side effects in only 1% of patients new to HIV treatment.

Other side effects

After Biktarvy was approved, certain side effects of the skin and subcutaneous tissue (under the skin), some of which are serious, were reported in Biktarvy or products containing tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), one of the active ingredients in Biktarvy.

These include:

Because these side effects were reported voluntarily, it is not possible to know how often these side effects occur or if Biktarvy was the cause of these reported side effects.

Does Biktarvy cause allergic reactions?

Allergic reactions can happen with most drugs, including Biktarvy.

Call your doctor right away if you think you are having an allergic reaction, as this could be life-threatening. Symptoms may include:

  • skin rash, itching, or flushing and redness
  • swelling under your skin (especially around your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet)
  • swelling around your face, tongue, mouth or throat
  • trouble breathing.

Related Questions

What is Biktary approved to treat?

Biktarvy (bictegravir / emtricitabine / tenofovir alafenamide) is a prescription medicine for treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It is taken as an oral tablet once per day. It is used in adults and children with HIV-1 who weigh at least 14 kg (31 lb):

  • who have not received HIV-1 medicines in the past, OR
  • to replace current HIV-1 medicines for people whose healthcare provider determines that they are virologically suppressed (HIV-1 RNA less than 50 copies per mL) on a stable antiretroviral regimen with no known or suspected substitutions associated with resistance to bictegravir or tenofovir.

Biktarvy (bictegravir 50 mg / emtricitabine 200 mg / tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg) is now approved by the FDA for people with HIV who have a known or suspected M184V/I mutation, a common form of treatment resistance.

How does Biktarvy come?

Biktarvy oral, once-daily tablets may be taken with or without food and come in two strengths:

  • 50 mg of bictegravir (BIC), 200 mg of emtricitabine (FTC), and 25 mg of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)
  • 30 mg of bictegravir (BIC), 120 mg of emtricitabine (FTC), and 15 mg of tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)

For children who cannot swallow a whole tablet, you can split the tablet in half with each part taken separately. All parts should be swallowed within about 10 minutes of splitting.

Biktarvy is a complete regimen for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults and children. It is not used with other HIV medicines to treat HIV infection.

This is not all the information you need to know about Biktarvy for safe use and does not replace your healthcare providers directions. Review the full Biktarvy information here, and review this information with your health care provider.


Read next

Related medical questions

Drug information

Related support groups