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Truvada vs Descovy: How do they compare for HIV and PrEP?

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Oct 8, 2019.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Truvada and Descovy are both two-drug, antiviral combinations containing emtricitabine and tenofovir for the treatment of HIV-1 infection, and for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of HIV-1 infection. The difference between Truvada and Descovy is in the form of tenofovir contained in each product. Descovy contains a newer form of tenofovir called tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) and Truvada contains the original form of tenofovir as tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF).

Tenofovir alafenamide is a prodrug of tenofovir that has been designed to enter HIV-infected cells more efficiently than TDF, and it can therefore be given at a much lower dose (less than one-tenth) than TDF. TAF appears to be associated with less kidney toxicity and decreases in bone density compared to TDF.

Truvada Descovy
FDA Approval August 2, 2004 April 4, 2016
Generic Name emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) emtricitabine and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)
How Supplied Tablets
  • emtricitabine 200 mg / TDF 300 mg
  • emtricitabine 167 mg / TDF 250 mg
  • emtricitabine 133 mg / TDF 200 mg
  • emtricitabine 100 mg / TDF 150 mg
Tablets
  • emtricitabine 200 mg / TAF 25 mg
Indications

HIV-1 Infection

  • in adults and pediatric patients weighing at least 17 kg (in combination with other antiretroviral agents)

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

  • in at-risk adults and adolescents weighing at least 35 kg

HIV-1 Infection

  • in adults and pediatric patients weighing at least 25 kg (in combination with other antiretroviral agents)

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)

  • in at-risk adult and adolescent men and transgender women weighing at least 35 kg

Truvada and Descovy are both manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc.

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