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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Emtriva

Generic Name: emtricitabine (Pronunciation: em trye SYE ta been)

What is emtricitabine (Emtriva)?

Emtricitabine is an antiviral medication. It is in a category of HIV medicines called reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Emtricitabine works by preventing HIV cells from multiplying in the body.

Emtricitabine is used to treat the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Emtricitabine is not a cure for HIV or AIDS.

Emtricitabine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Emtriva 200 mg

blue/white, imprinted with 200 mg GILEAD

What are the possible side effects of emtricitabine (Emtriva)?

Stop using emtricitabine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction : hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Emtricitabine may cause lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the body, which can be fatal). Lactic acidosis can start slowly and get worse over time. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as:

  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs;
  • trouble breathing;
  • feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak;
  • stomach pain, nausea with vomiting; or
  • slow or uneven heart rate.

Emtricitabine may also cause severe liver damage, which can be fatal. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms of liver problems:

  • nausea, stomach pain;
  • loss of appetite;
  • low fever;
  • dark urine;
  • clay-colored stools; or
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Early in your treatment with emtricitabine, you may have a flare-up of other infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, or cytomegalovirus. Contact your doctor if you develop any possible symptoms of other infections, such as fever, chills, sore throat, cough, flu symptoms, or problems with breathing or vision.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • diarrhea, mild nausea or stomach pain;
  • darkened patches of skin on your palms and/or soles;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • cough, runny nose;
  • skin rash; or
  • change in the shape or location of body fat (especially in the arms, legs, face, neck, breasts, and trunk).

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.

What is the most important information I should know about emtricitabine (Emtriva)?

Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking entricitabine. Early signs of lactic acidosis generally get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.

Emtricitabine may also cause severe liver damage, which can be fatal. Call your doctor at once if you have any of these symptoms of liver problems: nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Treatment of HIV/AIDS almost always requires using many medicines together. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor. Every person with HIV or AIDS should remain under the care of a doctor.

Avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles, razors, or toothbrushes. Taking this medication will not prevent you from passing HIV to other people. Talk with your doctor about safe methods of preventing HIV transmission during sex. Sharing drug or medicine needles is never safe, even for a healthy person.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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