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What are the most important things to know about Descovy?
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
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 ()
- 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
If you have both HIV and (HBV) and take Descovy, your HBV infection may get much worse (flare up) if you stop taking Descovy. Do not stop taking Descovy without first talking with your health care provider.
- Bone pain that does not go away or gets worse
- Pain in your arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Broken bones
- Muscle pain or weakness
While taking Descovy, it is important to keep all of your appointments with your health care provider.
What is Descovy?
- To treat HIV
- In adults and children who weigh at least 77 lb (35 kg), in combination with other HIV medicines.
- In children who weigh at least 31 lb (14 kg) and less than 77 lb (35 kg), in combination with certain other HIV medicines. A health care provider will determine which other HIV medicines can be used with Descovy.
- For 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. Descovy for PrEP is not approved for use in people born female (assigned female at birth) who are at risk of getting HIV infection from receptive vaginal sex, because this use has not been studied in clinical trials. Descovy for PrEP should always be used in combination with safer sex practices, such as using condoms, to prevent other
For more information on the use of Descovy in people with HIV, please refer to the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection.
For more information about HIV PrEP, including information on who should consider using PrEP, please read the HIVinfo fact sheet on PrEP.
HIV medicines cannot cure HIV/AIDS, but taking HIV medicines every day helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. When used as treatment, HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV . Whether you are taking Descovy for HIV prevention or for HIV treatment (in combination with other HIV medicines), do not 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 problems, including (HBV). Before taking Descovy, you must be tested for HBV infection.
- If you have problems or receive kidney dialysis treatment.
- 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. For more information on the use of Descovy during pregnancy, please refer to the Recommendations for the Use of Antiretroviral Drugs During Pregnancy and Interventions to Reduce Perinatal HIV Transmission in the United States.
- If you are breast/chestfeeding or plan to breast/chestfeed. For people with HIV in the United States, the Guideline recommends speaking with your health care provider to discuss options for feeding your baby. People with suppressed have a less than 1% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby via their own milk.
- If you are using -based birth control (such as pills, , or vaginal rings). 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 (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 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 in the following strengths:
- 200 mg of emtricitabine and 25 mg of tenofovir alafenamide
- 120 mg emtricitabine and 15 mg tenofovir alafenamide
Take Descovy once each day with or without food.
If you are on dialysis, take your dailyof Descovy after dialysis.
If you take Descovy to treat HIV infection, always take it in combination with other HIV medicines.
If you take Descovy for , it is important that you take it every day as prescribed to help reduce the risk of getting HIV and developing . Always use PrEP in combination with condoms and other safer sex practices.
If you have taken too much Descovy, contact your health care provider or local poison control center (1-800-222-1222 or online) 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 of Descovy, take the missed 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. Some side effects from Descovy 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.
Another possible side effect of Descovy is a change 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 .
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 or 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 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 ), 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?
- For more information on the use of Descovy in people with HIV, please refer to the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Adults and Adolescents with HIV and the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection.
- This Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Tablet (film coated). The Medication Guide includes information for people taking Descovy.
- The American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Patient Medication Information for emtricitabine and tenofovir available from MedlinePlus.
- Descovy-related research studies, from . (The ClinicalTrials.gov search can be modified so that you can get results that better match your interests.)
- A fact sheet about PrEP, from HIVinfo.
- A list of FDA-approved HIV medicines, from HIVinfo.
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Main number: 800-445-3235
Patient assistance: 800-226-2056