What are the most important things to know about Descovy?
Descovy can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. These include a buildup ofContact your health care provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms that could be signs of lactic acidosis: in the blood ( ) and severe problems.
- 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
- Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes ( )
- Dark-colored urine
- Light-colored bowel movements
- Loss of appetite for several days or longer
- Pain in your stomach area
Descovy is not approved for the treatment of chronic(HBV). If you have both HIV and HBV and take Descovy, your HBV infection may get much worse (flare up) if you stop taking Descovy.
Descovy can be used as(PrEP) to reduce the risk of getting HIV in people who are HIV negative. Do not use Descovy for PrEP unless a health care provider has confirmed that you do not have HIV.
While taking Descovy, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.
What is Descovy?
Descovy is a prescription medicine approved by the U.S.(FDA) for the following uses:
- To treat HIV infection in adults and children who weigh at least 55 lb (25 kg). Descovy for HIV treatment is always used in combination with other HIV medicines. A health care provider helps people with HIV determine which other medicines can be used with Descovy. HIV medicines can’t cure HIV/AIDS, but taking HIV medicines every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and reduces the risk of HIV .
- To reduce the risk of HIV infection in adults and adolescents who weigh at least 77 lb (35 kg), are HIV negative, and are at risk of getting HIV from sex. However, Descovy is not approved to reduce the risk of HIV infection from receptive vaginal sex because this use has not been studied in clinical trials. Using medicines to prevent HIV infection is called pre-exposure fact sheet on PrEP for more information, including information on who should consider taking PrEP. or PrEP. Descovy for PrEP should always be used in combination with safe sex practices, such as using condoms, to prevent other sexually transmitted infections. Read the HIVinfo
Whether you are taking Descovy for HIV prevention or for HIV treatment (in combination with other HIV medicines), don’t cut down on, skip, or stop taking your HIV medicine(s) unless your health care provider tells you to.
What should I tell my health care provider before taking Descovy?
Before taking Descovy, tell your health care provider:
- If you are allergic to any of the HIV medicines in Descovy (emtricitabine or tenofovir alafenamide) or any other medicines.
- If you have liver problems, including B infection (HBV). Before taking Descovy, you must be tested for HBV infection.
- If you have kidney problems.
- 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 Descovy during pregnancy.
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed if you have HIV or are taking Descovy for HIV treatment. If you do not have HIV and are taking Descovy for HIV prevention, talk to your health care provider about the best way to feed your baby.
- If you are using HIV and Birth Control infographic. -based birth control (such as pills, implants, or vaginal rings). For more information about using birth control and HIV medicines at the same time, view the HIVinfo
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products (particularly St. John’s wort) you are taking or plan to take. Descovy may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how Descovy works. Taking Descovy together with certain medicines or products may cause serious side effects.
Before taking Descovy to reduce your risk of getting HIV, you must get tested to be sure that you do not have HIV. Do not take Descovy to reduce the risk of getting HIV unless you are confirmed to be HIV negative.
Before taking Descovy for PrEP, also tell your health care provider:
- If you had a flu-like illness anytime in the month before starting Descovy (or if you have a flu-like illness at any time while taking Descovy). Flu-like symptoms may be a sign that you could have recently gotten HIV. The flu-like symptoms of a new HIV infection may include tiredness, fever, nighttime sweating, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, joint or muscle aches, headache, sore throat, or enlarged in the neck or groin.
- If you think that you were exposed to HIV. Your health care provider may want to do more tests to be sure that you are still HIV negative.
While taking Descovy for PrEP, you will get tested for HIV at least every 3 months.
How should I take Descovy?
Descovy comes in tablet form. Each tablet contains:
Take Descovy according to your health care provider’s instructions.
Take Descovy once each day with or without food.
If you are on dialysis, take your dailyof Descovy after dialysis.
If you take Descovy for PrEP, take it every day and not just when you think that you were exposed to HIV. Always use PrEP in combination with condoms and other safe sex practices.
If you take too much Descovy, 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 Descovy, see the FDA drug label.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss a dose of Descovy, 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 Descovy cause?
Descovy may cause side effects. 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.
Some side effects from Descovy can be serious. Serious side effects of Descovy include a buildup of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) and severe liver problems. (See section above: What are the most important things to know about Descovy?)
Other possible side effects of Descovy include:
- Changes in your (called 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.
- New or worsening kidney problems (including kidney failure).
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 Descovy. To learn more about possible side effects of Descovy, read the drug label oror 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 Descovy be stored?
- Store Descovy at room temperature, 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
- Keep Descovy 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 Descovy if the original seal over the container opening is broken or missing.
- Throw away Descovy that is no longer needed or expired (out of date). Follow FDA guidelines on how to safely dispose of unused medicine.
- Keep Descovy and all medicines out of reach of children.
Where can I find more information about Descovy?
More information about Descovy is available:
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Main number: 800-445-3235
Patient assistance: 800-226-2056
The above Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet (film coated).
Last Reviewed: March 2, 2020