Drug information

Audio
Brand Name:
Atripla
Other Names:
EFV / FTC / TDF, efavirenz / emtricitabine / tenofovir DF
Drug Class:
Combination Drugs
Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (efavirenz)
Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (emtricitabine, tenofovir DF)
Drug Image(s): (Click to enlarge)
 
What are the most important things to know about Atripla?What are the most important things to know about Atripla?

What are the most important things to know about Atripla?

 

Atripla can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include a buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis), liver problems, severe skin rash and allergic reactions, mental health problems, and new or worsening kidney problems, including kidney failure.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of lactic acidosis:
  • Weakness or tiredness
  • Unusual muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath or fast breathing
  • Stomach pain with nausea and vomiting
  • Cold or blue hands and feet
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fast or abnormal heartbeat

Some people taking efavirenz, a component of Atripla, have had liver problems. People with a history of hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) or hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) or who have elevated results on liver function tests may have an increased risk of developing new or worsening liver problems while taking Atripla. Liver problems have also occurred in people taking efavirenz who have no history of liver disease.

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of liver problems:

  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Light-colored bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite for several days or longer
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain, aching, or tenderness on the right side of your stomach/abdominal area
  • Itching

If you have both HIV and HBV and take Atripla, your HBV infection may get much worse (flare up) if you stop taking Atripla. Do not stop taking Atripla without first talking with your health care provider.

Contact your health care provider right away if you develop a rash while taking Atripla. Stop taking Atripla and get medical help right away if you develop a rash with any of the following symptoms:

  • General ill feeling
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Fever
  • Blistering or peeling skin
  • Blisters or sores in your mouth
  • Redness or swelling of the eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Swelling of your face, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of mental health problems:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling anxious or restless
  • Harming yourself or others or having thoughts about harming yourself (including suicidal thoughts) or others
  • Not being able to tell the difference between what is true or real and what is false or unreal
  • Not trusting other people
  • Hearing or seeing things that are not real
  • Not being able to move or speak normally

Contact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of a worsening kidney problem (called Fanconi Syndrome), which may be related to tenofovir-containing drugs:

  • Bone pain that does not go away or gets worse
  • Pain in your arms, hand, legs, or feet
  • Broken bones
  • Muscle pain or weakness

While taking Atripla, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.

What is Atripla?What is Atripla?

What is Atripla?

Atripla is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of HIV infection in adults and children who weigh at least 88 lb (40 kg). Atripla can be used alone as a complete treatment regimen or with other HIV medicines.

Atripla contains three different HIV medicines: efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate.

For more information on the use of Atripla in people with HIV, please refer to the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents Living with HIV and the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection

HIV medicines cannot cure HIV/AIDS, but taking HIV medicines every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. If you are taking HIV medicines, do not cut down on, skip, or stop taking them unless your health care provider tells you to.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking Atripla?What should I tell my health care provider before taking Atripla?

What should I tell my health care provider before taking Atripla?

Before taking Atripla, tell your health care provider:

  • If you are allergic to any of the HIV medicines in Atripla (efavirenz, emtricitabine, or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) or any other medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, including hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) or hepatitis C virus infection (HCV).
  • If you have heart problems.
  • If you have ever had a mental health problem.
  • If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • If you have nervous system problems.
  • If you have kidney problems or receive kidney dialysis treatment.
  • If you have bone problems.
  • If you have ever had a seizure or if you take medicine to treat seizures.
  • If you have any other medical conditions.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of taking Atripla during pregnancy. For more information on the use of Atripla during pregnancy, please refer to the Recommendations for the Use of Antiretroviral Drugs in Pregnant Women with HIV Infection and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States.
  • If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. For women with HIV in the United States, the Guideline does not recommend breastfeeding. Before your baby is born, or if you are already breastfeeding, talk to your health care provider to discuss alternative options for feeding your baby.
  • If you are using hormone-based birth control (such as pills, implants, or vaginal rings). Your health care provider can help you decide how to adjust your birth control while you are taking Atripla. For more information about using birth control and HIV medicines at the same time, view the HIVinfo HIV and Birth Control infographic.
  • About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Atripla may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how Atripla works. Taking Atripla together with certain medicines or products may cause serious side effects.
How should I take Atripla?How should I take Atripla?

How should I take Atripla?

Atripla comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains:

Take Atripla according to your health care provider’s instructions.

Take Atripla by mouth and on an empty stomach, preferably at bedtime. Taking Atripla at bedtime might help to make some of the side effects less bothersome.

If you have taken too much Atripla, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222) right away, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

For more information on how to take Atripla, see the FDA drug label.

What should I do if I forget a dose?What should I do if I forget a dose?

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Atripla, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. But if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and just take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

What side effects can Atripla cause?What side effects can Atripla cause?

What side effects can Atripla cause?

Atripla may cause side effects. Some side effects of Atripla can be serious as noted above. Many side effects from HIV medicines, such as nausea or occasional dizziness, are manageable. See the HIVinfo fact sheet on HIV Medicines and Side Effects for more information.

Other possible side effects of Atripla include:
  • Nervous system problems, including dizziness, trouble concentrating, abnormal dreams, unusually happy mood, agitation, thought problems, slow thoughts and physical movement, problems sleeping, excessive sleepiness or difficulty awakening, agitation, hallucinations, confusion, memory problems, and lack of coordination or balance.
  • Bone problems, including bone pain, or softening or thinning of the bones (osteopenia), which may lead to fractures.
  • Seizures.
  • Changes in your immune system (called immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome or IRIS). IRIS is a condition that sometimes occurs when the immune system begins to recover after treatment with an HIV medicine. As the immune system gets stronger, it may have an increased response to a previously hidden infection. 
  • Changes in body fat (lipodystrophy syndrome).

Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Atripla. To learn more about possible side effects of Atripla, read the drug label or package insert or talk to your health care provider or pharmacist.

You can also report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or online.

How should Atripla be stored?How should Atripla be stored?

How should Atripla be stored?

  • Store Atripla at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
  • Keep Atripla in the container that it came in and keep the container tightly closed. If the container has a small packet of drying agent (called a desiccant), do not remove it. The desiccant protects the medicine from moisture.
  • Do not use Atripla if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
  • Throw away Atripla that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of medicine.
  • Keep Atripla and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about Atripla?Where can I find more information about Atripla?

Where can I find more information about Atripla?

Manufacturer Information

Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Main number: 800-445-3235
Patient assistance: 800-226-2056

 

Last Reviewed: June 30, 2021