Standard DoseOne 200 mg capsule once daily without regard to food. According to the label, dosing needs to be adjusted for adults who have decreased kidney function (creatinine clearance less than 50 mL/min). This medication, however, is often used off-label in reduced renal function below 50 mL/min due to relatively minimal risk of emtricitabine accumulation and side effects. See package insert for guidance on dosing in the setting of kidney impairment. It must be taken in combination with another antiretroviral(s).
For adults and children regardless of age; a liquid formulation is available for infants and young children. Emtriva is dosed based on body weight for children. See the package insert for weight-based dosing.
Take missed dose as soon as possible, unless it is closer to the time of your next dose. Do not double up on your next dose. It is also available as an oral solution (10 mg/mL) (cotton candy flavor) for children of any age and adults who are not able to swallow the capsules. It can be substituted for Epivir.
See package insert for more complete information on potential side effects and interactions.
Tell your provider or pharmacist about all medications, herbals, and supplements you are taking or thinking of taking, prescribed or not.
ManufacturerGilead Sciences, Inc.
(800) GILEAD-5 (445–3235)
AWP200 mg, 30 capsules: $643.82/month
Potential Side Effects and Toxicity
Emtriva is very well tolerated. The most common side effects (rarely reported) may include headache, diarrhea, and nausea. If you have HIV and HBV, guidelines recommend treatment for both viruses. Emtriva can treat both HIV and HBV, but must be used in combination with another hep B drug (such as tenofovir) to treat the hep B. If you are co-infected with HBV and HIV, you should not stop Emtriva without medical supervision because it can cause your HBV to flare and cause you to experience signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis. HBV should be closely monitored by your provider. Rare skin discoloration (darkening of the skin on the palms and the soles) can occur and was more frequent in children, but is generally mild and not concerning.
Potential Drug Interactions
No significant drug interactions. Emtriva may be used with hepatitis C drugs such as Epclusa, Harvoni, or Zepatier, depending on the other components in the HIV regimen.
Emtriva (emtricitabine) is similar to Epivir (lamivudine): both treat HIV and HBV and have the same resistance profile, meaning that if your virus is resistant to one drug, it will be resistant to the other. If your HIV develops resistance to Epivir or Emtriva, it does not mean that your HBV is also resistant to them. Both Descovy and Truvada (both contain Emtriva) are currently recommended by DHHS HIV treatment guidelines for first-time therapy for most people. Emtriva is also found in several single-tablet regimens (Atripla, Biktarvy, Complera, Genvoya, Odefsey, Stribild, and Symtuza). Sometimes, drug resistance that the virus develops against emtricitabine makes the virus reproduce at a slower rate. This drug resistance can also improve the antiviral activity of Retrovir (zidovudine) and Viread (tenofovir), and for that reason, some providers continue Emtriva treatment in combination with other antiretrovirals after resistance develops. Emtriva oral solution should be kept in the refrigerator. If kept at room temperature, the oral solution should be used within three months. The capsule is small, which is an advantage for people with difficulty swallowing.
Dr. Ross Slotten says:
No comment provided because of redundancy. Emtriva is almost exclusively used as part of combination tablets.
Activist Bridgette Picou says:
Emtriva has a good safety profile and is chemically the same as lamivudine, the difference being Emtriva (emtricitabine) has a longer half-life, which means that it is in the body longer. It can also be used as part of a treatment profile for hepatitis B although it is not a cure. Don’t stop using the medication suddenly if you have hep B or don’t know your hep B status. Emtriva is found in a number of STRs such as Biktarvy, Odefsey, and Symtuza and is also found in Truvada and Descovy.