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Emtriva (Generic Emtricitabine)

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Hepatitis B virus infection (HBV; a continuing liver infection) should not be treated with emtricitabine. If you suspect you may have HBV, let your doctor know. Before you start your emtricitabine medication, your doctor may do a test to determine whether you have HBV. When you stop taking emtricitabine if you have HBV, your condition could suddenly get worse. For several months after you stop taking emtricitabine, your doctor will check on you and place blood test orders to see if your HBV has gotten worse.

Keep all of your appointments with your physician and the lab. To determine how your body is responding to emtricitabine, your doctor may prescribe specific tests. Discuss the dangers of taking emtricitabine with your doctor.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is treated with emtricitabine in combination with other drugs. Emtricitabine belongs to the NRTI (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) drug class. It functions by lowering the level of HIV in the blood. Emtricitabine does not treat HIV, but it may lessen your risk of getting AIDS and other diseases connected to HIV, such as cancer or serious infections. The risk of transmitting (spreading) the HIV virus to others may be reduced by taking these medications, engaging in safer sexual behavior, and changing other aspects of one’s lifestyle.

How should this medicine be used?

Emtricitabine is available as a liquid oral solution and a capsule for oral use. Typically, it is taken once day, with or without food. Emtricitabine should be taken every day at roughly the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Emtricitabine should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Although it doesn’t treat HIV infection, emtricitabine manages it. Emtricitabine should still be used even if you feel OK. Without consulting your doctor, do not discontinue taking emtricitabine. Get extra emtricitabine from your doctor or pharmacy if you run out of it. Your disease can get harder to treat if you forget to take your medication or stop taking it altogether.

For a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Other uses for this medicine

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking emtricitabine,

  • If you have any allergies, including to any of the substances in emtricitabine capsules and oral solution, notify your doctor and pharmacist right away. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any additional prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are now taking or intend to use. Be sure to specify any other HIV meds that contain lamivudine (Combivir, Epivir, Epivir-HBV, Epzicom, Triumeq, Trizivir, etc.) or emtricitabine (Atripla, Complera, Descovy, Genvoya, Odefsey, Stribild, Truvada). Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a closer eye on you for adverse effects.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have ever had any of the conditions listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, any infection that persists or flares up, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), liver disease, or kidney disease. These conditions include TB, a lung infection, and CMV, a virus that can cause symptoms in people with weakened immune systems.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, let your doctor know. Call your doctor right away if you get pregnant while taking emtricitabine. Inform your doctor if you are nursing a child. If you are HIV-positive or using emtricitabine, you shouldn’t breastfeed.
  • You should be aware that when you take HIV medicine, your immune system could become stronger and start to fight other infections that were already present in your body. You might begin to exhibit signs of those infections as a result of this. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any new or worsening symptoms after beginning your emtricitabine treatment.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. Emtricitabine should not be taken more than once per day, and you shouldn’t take two to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Emtricitabine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • Headache
  • A change in skin tone, particularly on the hands’ or feet’s soles, is noticeable.
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain
  • Strange dreams
  • Depression
  • Having trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Tingling, burning, or numbness in the legs, arms, feet, or hands
  • Clogged nose
  • Nasal pain

Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section:

  • Signs of infection such as a fever, chills, sore throat, cough, or other symptoms
  • Rash
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Rapid respiration
  • Rapid or unusual heartbeat
  • Stomach’s upper right corner hurts
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Urine that is dark yellow or brown.
  • Colored-light bowel motions
  • Yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weakness
  • You experience coldness, especially in your arms or legs
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feeling unsteady or lightheaded
  • Muscular ache

Other negative effects of emtricitabine are possible. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online at or by phone at 1-800-332-1088 if you have a serious side event.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep the capsules out of the bathroom and at room temperature, away from sources of extreme heat and moisture. Do not freeze the oral solution; instead, keep it in the refrigerator. You can keep the oral solution at room temperature for up to three months if you don’t want to refrigerate it. After three months, throw away any unopened, unrefrigerated oral solution.

As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilizing a medicine take-back program is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programs in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back program, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at for additional information.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Additionally, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

Emtricitabine should always be on hand. Do not put off getting a refill on your prescription until you are out of medicine.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Emtriva®
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