Standard DoseOne 200 mg capsule once daily without regard to food. Dosing needs to be adjusted for adults and children who have decreased kidney function (creatinine clearance less than 50 mL/min). See package insert for guidance on dosing in the setting of kidney impairment. Must be taken in combination with another antiretroviral(s) which does not contain the medication in this drug.
Indicated for adults and children regardless of age. 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 any age and adults who are not able to swallow the capsules. Can be substituted for Epivir.
ManufacturerGilead Sciences, Inc.
(800) GILEAD-5 (445–3235)
AWP200 mg, 30 capsules: $643.82/month
Potential Side Effects and Toxicity
- 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.
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 Daklinza, Epclusa, Harvoni, Olysio, Sovaldi, Viekira Pak, 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, Stribild, Symtuza, and Odefsey). 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.
Emtriva was approved in 2003 and has been a closely related medication to Epivir (lamivudine or 3TC). Note the similar chemical names FTC and 3TC. For many HIV treaters, ART guidelines writers, and even the FDA, the two medications are interchangeable. Emtriva is almost always used in combination with Viread (Truvada) or with TAF (Descovy). It is a potent antiretroviral, but its anti-HIV activity is almost completely lost when a very common, single mutation (M184V) occurs in the virus. It has very few, if any, significant side effects and therefore is almost always included in most ART regimens.
Activist Moisés Agosto-Rosario says:
Emtriva or emtricitabine is a very safe and well-tolerated drug. Its chemical structure is the same as lamivudine. They are both equally effective and have an equal safety profile. The only difference is that emtricitabine has a longer half-life than lamivudine. Emtriva is one of the two drugs in Truvada, which became an alternative to Combivir, the first fixed-dose combination tablet containing zidovudine and lamivudine. It is also in single-tablet regimens such as Atripla, as well as Complera, Stribild, and the newer version of these drugs containing TAF, in addition to STRs containing integrase inhibitors (Biktarvy, Genvoya). It is also used to treat HBV.