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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking emtricitabine (Emtriva)?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to emtricitabine, or if you are also using:
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use emtricitabine:
Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking emtricitabine. You may be more likely to develop lactic acidosis if you are overweight or have liver disease, or if you have taken certain HIV or AIDS medications for a long time. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Your name may need to be listed on an antiviral pregnancy registry when you start using this medication.
You should not breast-feed while you are using emtricitabine. Women with HIV or AIDS should not breast-feed at all. Even if your baby is born without HIV, you may still pass the virus to the baby in your breast milk.
How should I take emtricitabine (Emtriva)?
Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take emtricitabine with a full glass of water.
Emtricitabine can be taken with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day to get the most benefit.
Measure liquid medicine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
If you have hepatitis B you may develop liver symptoms after you stop taking this medication, even months after stopping. Your doctor may want to check your liver function at regular visits for several months after you stop using emtricitabine. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.
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.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.
Store emtricitabine capsules at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and direct light.
Store emtricitabine liquid in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.
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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