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Viread

Generic Name: tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
Brand Names: Vemlidy, Viread

Medically reviewed on August 10, 2018

What is Viread?

Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) is an antiviral medicine that prevents human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B from multiplying in your body.

Viread is used to treat HIV, the virus that can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Viread is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Viread is also used to treat chronic hepatitis B infection in adult subjects and children 12 years of age and older with compensated liver disease.

Important Information

Do not take Viread together with adefovir (Hepsera), or with combination medicines that contain tenofovir (Atripla, Complera, Genvoya, Odefsey, Stribild, or Truvada).

If you have ever had chronic hepatitis B, Viread can cause this condition to come back or get worse. You will need frequent blood tests to check your liver function.

Do not stop using tenofovir disoproxil without first talking to your healthcare providers.

This medicine 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.

Viread can also cause severe or life-threatening effects on your liver. Call your doctor at once if you have: nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Before taking this medicine

You should not take Viread if you are allergic to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

Do not take Viread together with adefovir (Hepsera), or with combination medicines that contain tenofovir (Atripla, Complera, Descovy, Genvoya, Odefsey, Stribild, or Truvada).

Viread should not be given to a child with HIV who is younger than 2 years old. Viread should not be used to treat hepatitis B in a child younger than 12 years old.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

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

  • kidney disease; or

  • low bone mineral density.

You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in your blood. This may be more likely if you have other medical conditions, if you've taken HIV medication for a long time, or if you are a woman. Ask your doctor about your risk.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, and use your medications properly to control your infection. HIV can be passed to your baby if the virus is not controlled during pregnancy. Your name may be listed on a registry to track any effects of antiviral medicine on the baby.

It may not be safe to breast-feed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk. 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 Viread?

Before you start treatment with Viread, your doctor may perform tests to make sure you do not have HIV (if you are being treated for hepatitis B) or hepatitis B (if you are being treated for HIV).

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Take this medicine at the same time each day.

Viread tablets may be taken with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Viread oral powder should be mixed with soft food such as applesauce, yogurt, or baby food. Do not mix the oral powder with liquid.

Tenofovir doses are based on weight in children. Your child's dose needs may change if the child gains or loses weight.

You will need frequent medical tests.

Do not stop using Viread without first talking to your doctor.

Use all HIV medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or dosing schedule without your doctor's advice. Every person with HIV should remain under the care of a doctor.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

If you have hepatitis B, this virus may become active or get worse in the months after you stop using Viread. You may need frequent liver function tests while using this medicine and for several months after your last dose.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking Viread?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage.

Using this medicine will not prevent your disease from spreading. 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.

Viread side effects

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

Mild symptoms of lactic acidosis may worsen over time, and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have: unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain, vomiting, irregular heart rate, dizziness, feeling cold, or feeling very weak or tired.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sore throat, flu symptoms, easy bruising or unusual bleeding;

  • kidney problems - little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath; or

  • liver problems - swelling around your midsection, upper stomach pain, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Tenofovir affects your immune system, which may cause certain side effects (even weeks or months after you've taken this medicine). Tell your doctor if you have:

  • signs of a new infection - fever, night sweats, swollen glands, cold sores, cough, wheezing, diarrhea, weight loss;

  • trouble speaking or swallowing, problems with balance or eye movement, weakness or prickly feeling; or

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

Common Viread side effects may include:

  • stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;

  • fever, pain, cough;

  • weakness, dizziness, feeling tired;

  • headache, back pain;

  • depressed mood;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • itching or rash; or

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

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 Viread?

Viread can harm your kidneys, especially if you also use certain medicines for infections, cancer, osteoporosis, organ transplant rejection, bowel disorders, or pain or arthritis (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Viread only for the indication prescribed.

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

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